This is a paid guest post.
The 2019/20 UEFA Champions League has reached the Round of 16 stage and there are some excellent games to enjoy. However, arguably the most anticipated match of the competition to date comes at Anfield on the 11th of March as Liverpool meet Atletico Madrid. This will be the second leg of their Round of 16 tie.
There is a great deal of interest surrounding this match as Atletico Madrid come into the game leading 1-0 from the first leg. The Spanish club scored an early goal in the first game between these teams at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. What was a venue full of delight for Liverpool in the Champions League final last season soon turned into something to forget.
With the early goal, Diego Simeone’s team conducted a defensive masterclass. They managed to prevent Liverpool from having a single shot on target throughout the 90 minutes which is very impressive considering the attacking talent at the European champions disposal. In fact, it was Atletico Madrid who came closest to scoring the second goal of the game and they maybe a little disappointed not to have a 2 goal lead ahead of the second leg.
However, the reaction of the Liverpool players and manager Jurgen Klopp at the final whistle caused a stir. They seemed to question the tactics of Atletico Madrid, suggesting the hosts were trying to get Sadio Mane sent off and that was the reason why Klopp took substituted him. Andy Robertson also spoke about Atletico Madrid players ‘falling over’ and it appears as though the Spaniards managed to not only win the match but also get under the skin of their opponents.
That has set things up nicely for the second leg and Klopp has already spoken about the welcome Atletico Madrid can expect to receive at Anfield.
Liverpool will no doubt look back to their 4-0 victory over Barcelona at the semi-final stage of the tournament last season. Having lost the first leg 3-0 in Spain, they were given little chance of winning the tie but turned things around in a spectacular performance. Liverpool are undefeated in their last 18 home Champions League games. They have won 12 of those matches including 9 of the last 11. In addition to the victory over Barcelona last season Liverpool have defeated Manchester City, Roma, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli.
So, despite the defeat in the first leg, Liverpool come into this match as favourites to win priced at -215 with Sugarhouse.
Many Liverpool fans are pointing to the victory over Barcelona to suggest they are going to win this game comfortably but that may not be the case against Atletico Madrid. Simeone will have his team set up to defend and keep Liverpool out at all costs. If there is one man who can succeed in doing the seemingly impossible, it is Simeone. However, their recent away record in the Champions League is poor and Atletico Madrid have won only one of their last 6 away matches in the competition. They lost 2 of their 3 away group games this season at Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus.
Therefore, it should come as little surprise to see Atletico Madrid as the outsiders to win this game priced at +700.
In terms of which team will progress to the quarter-final of the Champions League, there is little to split them in the betting. Sugarhouse offer -114 for Liverpool and -112 for Atletico Madrid. Liverpool failed to score an away goal which could prove costly if Atletico Madrid manage to find the back of the net at Anfield. Liverpool conceded goals in each of their 3 home Champions League group games this season. Even if they manage to win the game by a single goal, if they concede a goal, Liverpool will be eliminated from the competition.
You can get +265 for Liverpool to win and both teams to score. Expect Atletico Madrid to try and keep things tight for the majority of the match knowing that scoring a late away goal would make all the difference.