Sadio Mane returns to the starting line-up for tonight’s Champions League encounter with Atletico Madrid.
The No.10 is one of two changes made by Jürgen Klopp for the last-16, first-leg clash at Estadio Metropolitano.
The other sees Fabinho named in midfield, with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dropping to the bench.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Origi, Matip.
Venue – Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Referee – Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Date & Time – Tuesday, February 18th 2020 @ 20:00
Current Odds – Atletico Madrid 23/10, Draw 5/2, Liverpool 23/20
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid… the one team most of us Reds fans wanted to avoid in the Champions League draw. Yet, here we are. Fate drew us the short straw and now Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have a huge task ahead of them. However, Liverpool are European champions and runaway Premier League leaders. There’s no-one left to fear.Form
Atletico Madrid Form
Atletico Madrid are fourth in the LaLiga table at the moment. 12 points behind Barcelona and Real Madrid at this stage is a poor return for Atleti, though. Simeone’s shine may be wearing off at Los Rojiblancos and they have won just once in their last 7 games in all competitions. But Atletico have been generally tough to break down in the Champions League during the Simeone era. Tuesday night is likely to be no different.
Atletico Madrid drew 2-2 away to Valencia in LaLiga in their most recent game, last Friday night.
Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 25 points with a 1-0 win at Norwich over the weekend. The Reds are cruising to their 19th league title.
Now, Jurgen Klopp’s men turn their attentions back to protecting their Champions League crown and continuing their quest for what would be European Cup number 7 for the club.Team News
Atletico Madrid Team News
England international right-back Kieran Trippier is out for Atleti due to a hip injury. Diego Simeone will have to wait and see if Hector Herrera and Diego Costa can play any part as the pair battle to recover in time. Young star Joao Felix is also facing a late fitness test before Tuesday night’s encounter.
For the most part this season, Simeone has been lining Atleti out in a 4-4-2 formation. He has switched to 4-3-3 or 4-3-1-2 on occasion. I think the Argentine coach will stick with 4-4-2 for Liverpool’s visit.
Liverpool Team News
Xherdan Shaqiri is the only Reds Champions League squad member who is currently suffering from an injury. A calf problem could keep Shaqiri out of proceedings this week.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were made to fight tooth and nail for the three points at Norwich on Saturday evening. Jordan Henderson put in a super-human effort to see The Reds over the line so I expect the captain to be on the bench on Tuesday. James Milner could get a rare start, as could Dejan Lovren in central defence. Lovren’s selection is very possible given any potential physical battle with Diego Costa should the Spain international play any part in the game.
Sadio Mané came off the bench to score the winner at Norwich. He should start on Tuesday night having overcome his recent injury.Predicted Lineups
Atletico Madrid XI (4-4-2) – Oblak; Aria, Savic, Felipe, Saul Niguez; Koke, Thomas, Llorente, Vitolo; Correa, Morata
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Firmino, ManéWhen they last met
Liverpool and Atletico Madrid have met four times in European competition. In 2010, Atleti knocked Rafa Benitez’s Reds out in the semi-finals of the Europa League through the away-goals rule.
Two years previous to that, the teams played out two 1-1 draws in the group stages of that season’s Champions League.Prediction
ATLETICO MADRID 1 – 1 LIVERPOOL
A draw is the most likely outcome of this game. Atletico Madrid have only lost once at home in LaLiga this season and were undefeated at the Wanda Metropolitano in the group stages of the Champions League. I can’t see either side losing this one so a 1-1 scoreline is very likely in what should be a tight game.
Jurgen Klopp remains a big admirer of Timo Werner, but Liverpool have not engaged with RB Leipzig over striking an agreement for the forward.
The Premier League leaders have long-assessed the 23-year-old, who aligns with the stylistic profile the recruitment team prioritise.
While Werner’s football attributes would complement the approach of the European champions, there are concerns over how the German international would adjust to not being an automatic starter at Liverpool.
Full story: Independent
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Last Updated: 18/02/20 1:18pm0:41 Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has ambitions of managing in the Premier League in the future Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has ambitions of managing in the Premier League in the future
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has ambitions of managing in the Premier League and believes his current role at Brisbane Roar is ideal preparation.
Fowler was appointed head coach of the struggling A-League side in April and has since guided the club to sixth midway through his first full season in charge, with a play-off spot now a realistic target.
Fowler, the sixth highest goalscorer in Liverpool's history, is enjoying life in Australia but has set his sights on a return to England in the future alongside his assistant coach, former Everton midfielder Tony Grant.
"I want to manage in the Premier League and I want Tony to come with me as part of my team in the Premier League," Fowler told Sky Sports News.
"I don't think I can be any broader than that."
He added: "I've got massive aspirations of getting where I believe I will get to. I'm going to do everything I can to get there.
"It starts here, it really does. We know there's a big world out there, there's lot of opportunities and we're ready to take them."Fowler has guided Brisbane Roar to sixth in the A-League table, with a play-off spot now a realistic aim
Fowler, who also enjoyed a brief spell as player-coach at Thai club Muangthong United prior to joining Brisbane, says he has faced a backlash in Australia as a foreign coach but is determined to prove his doubters wrong.
"It's been tough because of where we were last year and maybe the expectation levels… certainly over here because obviously we're British," he said.
"We get the impression that there's a little bit of an anti-British [feeling] over here and I think people want us to fail.
"But it drives us on that little bit more to be that little bit more successful because we want to go further."0:30 The former striker says he still dreams of playing for Liverpool and would have loved to have played in Jurgen Klopp's current side. The former striker says he still dreams of playing for Liverpool and would have loved to have played in Jurgen Klopp's current side.
Fowler is keen to reach the pinnacle of coaching but when asked if that meant taking charge of England one day, he said: "I'd settle for Liverpool first!
"But obviously I want Jurgen [Klopp] to stay there forever because he's brilliant."
Liverpool need just five more wins to claim their first title for 30 years and Klopp's side remain on course to finish the campaign unbeaten in the Premier League.
"I think they can," said Fowler, when asked if Liverpool could become the new 'Invincibles'.Fowler believes Liverpool can end the season unbeaten in the Premier League
"Will they? I don't know. Am I bothered? Probably not so much actually! I want them to win the league, that's the be-all and end-all for me.
"Will Jurgen want them to go unbeaten? Of course he will because he's a manger that demands the best out of every player, every game.
"Of course he'll have the players believing in themselves, they'll have that confidence instilled in them and they'll believe they can.
"Will they? I hope they will but it doesn't matter if they don't. They're still the best team."Super 6: Return of the Champions League
FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the Super 6 jackpot for the sixth time this season on Tuesday.
Liverpool FC is deeply saddened by the passing of former player Brian Jackson, aged 86.
Signed as an 18-year-old from Leyton Orient in November 1951, Jackson made 133 appearances for the club over the next six-and-a-half years and scored 11 goals.
His first strike came on debut, the outside-right showing few nerves on the big stage by netting his team’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers at Anfield.
After his opportunities were limited to five matches in 1952-53, the forward earned more regular game time in subsequent seasons as Liverpool battled to get out of the Second Division.
His final appearance came in March 1958 in an FA Cup defeat at Blackburn Rovers as Jackson joined Port Vale the following summer.
He later represented Peterborough United, Lincoln City, Burton Albion and Boston United before hanging up his boots in the mid-‘60s.
The thoughts of everyone at LFC are with Brian’s family and friends at this sad time.
RIP Brian Jackson 1933-2020
[unable to retrieve full-text content]Follow all of the build-up, action and reaction as Liverpool take on Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Neil Critchley was delighted to see Liverpool U23s emulate the first team and grab a late winner during Monday night's 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in Premier League 2.
With the game looking set to end in a draw, Jake Cain produced a brilliant stoppage-time strike to give the young Reds the three points at St George’s Park.
Critchley fielded eight players who started the FA Cup tie with Shrewsbury Town at Anfield, including the likes of captain Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Pedro Chirivella.
Joe Hardy gave Liverpool the lead, only for Wolves to draw level from the penalty spot before Cain’s late heroics.
Read on for Critchley’s thoughts on a hard-fought win…
On whether it was a deserved victory for his side…
We probably just about deserved it on the balance of play over the 90 minutes. The message to the players at half-time was we have to find a way of winning. It’s an important habit to develop at this age. I didn’t think we were at our best all evening and you could see we haven’t played for a couple of weeks. I think this was a difficult game off the back of the Shrewsbury game. I would sum the game up by saying it was slightly indifferent but I'm also pleased the boys found a way to win.
On the importance of the players staying hungry…
We did that in spells. In other little moments in the game we could have done a lot better. I thought there was a lot of situations where our decision making and our quality could have been better and we could have been more decisive around the box. I thought we started the second half well and probably our worst part of the game was when they equalised. After that we lost control of the game and it became a bit of a basketball game which probably suited them. I also thought we would get a chance near the end of the game and it was whether we would take it or not. Fair play to Jake, it was a really good strike from the edge of the box.
On a good sign of winning despite not being at their best…
We’ve had some really good moments in the game and played some really good football as well. Veet [Vitezslav Jaros] had very little to do all evening and I was really pleased to have him back. I thought he was really calm and assured playing it out from the back. They hit the outside of the post near the end but that was about it. We dominated the game but we probably just didn’t do enough with our possession in the final third, maybe taking too many touches. When you are 1-0 up you always risk giving them a counter-attacking moment and that’s what happened. We responded well and we won the game but we could have done better overall.
On the way Hardy has settled into the club…
Joe is a terrific boy to work with, really great to work with on the training pitch. He has settled into the group really well and his goal typified him tonight. That was what you call a proper goalscorer’s goal. It’s a two-yard tap-in but I love them goals, it’s a proper centre-forward’s goal, getting right in there. He had to make up a lot of ground and I thought Tony Gallacher did fantastically well to create that for him. Joe is a goalscorer and he will be made up with that.
On the joy of working with these players every day on the training field…
I enjoy every day at Liverpool and it’s a privilege and an honour to be at this club. To work with this group of players and the staff I have, I’m privileged and I am proud to be associated with this group of boys. I was just really pleased they got the three points.
Liverpool's bid to retain the Champions League trophy resumes against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
Jürgen Klopp's holders booked a place in the competition's first knockout round by qualifying from Group E - but how much do you remember about their run so far?
We've compiled six questions to test your knowledge ahead of tonight's game at Estadio Metropolitano...
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points concerning this week’s round-of-16 first-leg action.Red machine in treble charge
The Reds were crowned European champions at the same venue last June when beating Tottenham 2-0 and head back to the Spanish capital in ominous form. Unbeaten this season and 25 points clear at the top of the English top flight, they are also in the last 16 of the FA Cup and have their eyes fixed firmly on the treble.Mane main man for Metropolitano
Liverpool, fighting on three fronts, face five games in 18 days and Klopp has several selection dilemmas following Saturday’s 1-0 win at Norwich – their 17th consecutive Premier League win and one shy of Manchester City’s record.
Sadio Mane stepped off the bench to lash home the winner at Carrow Road and Fabinho is also expected to start on Tuesday night. Midfielder Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may have to make way, but Klopp has plenty of options with an FA Cup fifth-round tie at Chelsea looming on the horizon.Atletico’s pedigree not in doubt
Liverpool’s opponents Atletico are in the middle of a poor run of form and are in danger of slipping out of LaLiga’s top four after winning just two league games since the turn of the year.
Diego Simeone’s side, who will relish being the underdogs in front of a partisan crowd, have lost only one of their last 12 home games against English opposition.Spurs need sharpening for Leipzig test
Tottenham’s last-16 opponents RB Leipzig will provide a stern test. After going four games without a win Julian Nagelsmann’s side bounced back to form by beating Werder Bremen 3-0 on Saturday and sit one point behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho has been highly critical of the Premier League’s fixture schedule again, with his side set to complete three games in seven days at London rivals Chelsea on Saturday after star man Son Heung-min’s stoppage-time winner at Aston Villa on Sunday.Dortmund aim to ambush Tuchel
Borussia Dortmund lie in wait for former boss Thomas Tuchel and his high-flying Paris St Germain side. Atalanta face Valencia in Tuesday night’s other last-16 tie, but the atmosphere in Bergamo is unlikely to reach the fever pitch that is expected at a sold-out Westfalenstadion.
The majority in a crowd of over 80,000 will be hoping Borussia stars Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland, who has notched nine goals in his first six appearances for the club, can maintain their outstanding scoring form.
Ahead of tonight's showdown at Estadio Metropolitano, we have picked out three individual battles to keep an eye on as Atletico Madrid and Liverpool face off.
The opening instalment of the sides’ Champions League last-16 tie sees the Reds return to the venue of their sixth European Cup triumph last June.
Led by the vastly experienced and wily Diego Simeone, an evolving Atletico are aiming to emulate their runs to the competition’s final in 2014 and 2016.
Here are three duels that could prove influential in Spain...
Alvaro Morata v Virgil van Dijk
Alvaro Morata, on loan from Chelsea, made a welcome return for Los Rojiblancos in Friday’s 2-2 La Liga draw with Valencia, entering the game in the 66th minute after missing his side’s previous match.
The Spain international’s availability provides an attacking boost for Liverpool’s visit, with Simeone having used midfielders Angel Correa and Vitolo up front recently in the absence of Diego Costa, Joao Felix and Morata due to injury.
Top scorer for Atleti with 10 goals in all competitions so far this term, Morata bagged twice against Bayer Leverkusen in the group stage as his team qualified for the knockouts in second place behind Juventus.
Tall, quick and with a poacher’s instinct, the No.9 is lethal in the air.
Typically stationed as the right-sided forward in a 4-4-2 formation, Morata – if deemed ready to start at Estadio Metropolitano – will come into direct confrontation with Virgil van Dijk.
Already twice a finalist and once a winner in the Champions League since joining the Reds two years ago, Van Dijk was recognised as the best defender in the competition in 2018-19 and has maintained his impeccable form this season.
The Reds have conceded only once in the past 11 Premier League matches, with Van Dijk partnered by Joe Gomez to his right in central defence for the past 10, and shut out the free-scoring Salzburg last time out in this competition to ensure a place in the Round of 16.
The Dutchman will be tasked with shackling the multiple threats of Morata, particularly aerially, but can also present his own difficulties in the opposition box.
Van Dijk has found the net four times this season and twice struck in Champions League knockout ties away from home last term – at Bayern Munich and FC Porto.
Renan Lodi v Trent Alexander-Arnold
A tale of two talented 21-year-olds.
“You have to keep an eye on him,” warns journalist and La Liga expert Dermot Corrigan of Atleti left-back Renan Lodi, who started each of their six group-stage fixtures after signing from Atletico Paranaense last summer.
“He came from Brazil, he wasn’t much hyped, you didn’t hear the usual stuff about everybody trying to get him. People thought when they signed him that another left-back would be signed and he’d be a youngster on the fringes.
“But he’s super skilful, super attacking, fast, athletic but also very clever with his passes.”
Sounds familiar, right?
At the opposite end of Lodi’s flank tonight will be Trent Alexander-Arnold, the Scouser whose armoury of creativity was a pillar of Liverpool’s surge to each of the past two Champions League finals.
The No.66 has already provided 10 assists in the Premier League for the runaway leaders this season and one more in this competition.
It will be an intriguing, perhaps pivotal, battle between the two flying full-backs to see who can better balance their defensive responsibilities and attacking prowess.
Lodi, of course, must also concern himself with Mohamed Salah on that side of the pitch, while Saul Niguez – “good for a goal in a big game,” according to Corrigan – seems likeliest to be deployed further up that flank for the home team and attempt to preoccupy Alexander-Arnold.
Felipe v Roberto Firmino
Atletico defender Felipe will face Liverpool in the Champions League knockout rounds for the third consecutive campaign.
The previous two meetings came with Porto as Jürgen Klopp’s Reds defeated the Portuguese outfit in the last 16 and quarter-finals respectively in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Felipe switched to Los Rojiblancos in the summer as Simeone reshuffled his squad and started five of their six group matches, chipping in with a goal against Lokomotiv Moscow when qualification was secured in December.
The 30-year-old will aim to use that first-hand experience of Roberto Firmino’s ability to prevent his compatriot from repeating his strikes in each of the legs against Porto a year ago.
The Liverpool No.9 is on an unusual run of scoring exclusively away from home, with all 10 of his efforts so far this season coming away from Anfield – though none yet in the Champions League.
Described as ‘unique’ by his manager earlier this month, the gifted Firmino is, of course, as much – if not more – a provider of goals as a taker. He claimed three assists in the 4-0 win over Southampton recently, for example.
Using his repertoire to disrupt Felipe and his fellow defenders, and thereby crack the notoriously tough nut that is Simeone’s Atletico, could tip the showdown in the visitors’ favour.
Tuesday night sees the Reds return to the scene of their sixth European Cup triumph 262 days ago, a win in the last-16 tie at Atletico would put them a step closer to a third consecutive Champions League final.
Liverpool and Atletico have been drawn against each other twice previously in European competition.
They first met at the group stage of this competition in 2008-09 with both games finishing 1-1. Both teams qualified for the knockout stage, remaining unbeaten in the competition.
The following season saw them pitted against each other in the Semi-Final of the Europa League.
The first leg in Madrid in April 2010 was played in the midst of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. As a result the Reds had to travel to the Spanish capital by train to Bordeaux (via London and Paris) before flying to Madrid. Liverpool lost the game 1-0 to an early Diego Forlan goal.
In the return, Forlan scored the extra-time goal that took Atletico through to the final on away goals after going down 2-1 at Anfield. They defeated Fulham to lift the trophy.In Spain…
In 19 away games in Spain, Liverpool have won 7, drawn 5 and lost 7.
The Reds have won 4 times in their last 10 visits to Spain with their last victory coming in the 1-0 defeat of Real Madrid in 2009.
Liverpool’s last 13 games in Spain have seen them score 10 goals in total, with 3 of those coming in one first half in Seville. In the same period they have conceded 14, with 3 coming last season at the Camp Nou.
Their biggest win on Spanish soil came at Real Sociedad in the UEFA Cup on October 1975. The 3-1 win is one of only 2 occasions they have scored more than twice in visits to the country – the 3-3 Champions League draw at Sevilla being the other.
This is Liverpool’s fifth successive European campaign in which they have faced Spanish opposition. They have only been eliminated by clubs from Spain twice in the last 11 two-legged ties – the last by Atletico in 2009-10.Goals records
Mo Salah has scored 20 European goals for Liverpool (all in the Champions League), with Sadio Mané’s 18 goals also coming in this competition. Roberto Firmino has scored all but one of his 16 goals in Europe for the club in the Champions League.
Salah is the club’s joint third highest scorer in Europe, alongside Ian Rush (also 20). Steven Gerrard tops the list with 41, while Michael Owen has 22.
Salah’s 20 goals in this competition for Liverpool have come in just 33 appearances.
Salah scored 4 goals in the group stage this season – more than any other Reds player.
Andy Robertson is the only Liverpool player who could miss the second leg if he is yellow carded today, having been booked in both clashes with Napoli.
Liverpool have never lost a two-legged European tie under Jurgen Klopp, winning all of the previous 10.
The Reds are seeking to become the first English club in history to reach 3 successive European Cup finals.Atleti Spotlight
This is Atletico’s 10th Champions League campaign (their 8th in the knockout stages) and their 15th in total in Europe’s premier competition.
Atletico have reached the final of the European Cup/Champions League 3 times, losing in 1974, 2014 and 2016. No team has ever reached as many final without lifting the trophy.
However, they have won a trio of Europa Leagues in the last 10 seasons and the Cup Winners Cup in 1962.
Since 2014 they have failed to reach the knockout stages of this competition only once (having taken part each season) and on that occasion in 2017-18 they parachuted into the Europa League and defeated Marseille 3-0 in the Final.
Since that campaign they have reached the Final twice and also a Quarter-Final and a Semi-Final, losing to city neighbours Real each time.
In the Champions League they have won 7 and drawn 2 of the last 9 at home and lost only one of the last 21 – to Chelsea in 2017-18). That is their only defeat in the last 25 on home soil in all European games.
In European competition they are unbeaten in the last 13 at home, winning 11 with 2 draws.
The last 11 of those games at home have seen them concede only 3 times, while they have scored in each of the last 16 in front of their own fans since playing out a 0-0 draw with Bayer Leverkusen in this round of the 2016-17 campaign.
Only Juventus in the last 9 European games have found the net at Atletico and they scored twice in this season’s group stage.
Atletico have scored 37 goals in 33 games this season in league and cup. The 2-2 draw at Valencia last Friday was the first time in 7 matches they had scored more than once (they twice led in that game).
At home this season Atletico have played 14 times winning 9 with their sole loss coming on the first day of December when they were beaten 1-0 by Barcelona. They have scored 20 times while conceding 8, with half of those 8 coming in the last 11.
That Barcelona defeat is their only loss at the Wanda Metropolitano in the last 23 matches, keeping clean sheets in 15 of those.
Only Real Madrid and Barcelona have left Atletico with a win in the last 40 matches.
Home and away ‘The Rojiblancos’ have won one of the last 7 outings in all competitions. That came in their last home outing against Granada (1-0).
Diego Simeone will take charge of a team against Liverpool for the first time in his career. He has been Atletico coach since December 2011 and has lifted one La Liga, one Copa Del Rey, 2 Europa Leagues and 2 Spanish Super Cups.
* All stats thanks to LFC statistician Ged Rea.
Robbie Keane scored an early opener the last time Liverpool faced Atletico in the Champions League in Madrid, but can you remember the rest of the starting XI from the 1-1 group-stage draw in 2008?
The striker slotted home from Steven Gerrard's perfectly weighted through-ball to give Rafa Benitez's side a 14th-minute lead at the Vicente Calderon, but Simao Sabrosa equalised for the hosts late on.
Former Liverpool pair Luis Garcia and Florent Sinama-Pongolle both started for Atletico that evening, but who lined up against them for LFC? Can you fill in all the Missing Men below?
Fill in the answers in the quiz below, or click Next at the bottom of the page to reveal the Missing Men...