Liverpool host the reigning Spanish champions Atletico Madrid in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday night.
The pair played a hellless thriller with five goals in the reverse match two weeks before. Liverpool took a 2-0 lead in the opening quarter before Antoine Griezmann’s equalizer in the 34th minute.
The Frenchman’s red card shortly after the restart eventually led to the equalizer, which Mohamed Salah won with a penalty 12 minutes after the time.
Here is everything you need to know about a rematch that has a lot to live up to.
What time is the kick off? Wednesday 3 November, 20:00 (GMT)Where is it played? AnfieldTV channel? BT Sport (UK), Paramount + (USA), DAZN (Canada)Highlights? BT Sport (UK), official BT Sport YouTube channelsJudge? Danny MakkelieWHERE? Pol van Boekel
Naby Keita is likely to end up on the sidelines for Wednesday’s UCL match with Atletico Madrid, Jürgen Klopp confirmed:
– Liverpool FC (@LFC) 31 October 2021
An eventful fourteen days for Naby Keita – with goals against Atletico and Manchester United – were weakened by a hamstring injury during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Brighton this weekend. Jurgen Klopp strongly suggested that Keita should be unavailable, and go with a number of midfielders in the treatment room.
Along with Liverpool’s longtime absentee Harvey Elliott, James Milner’s hoarding problems will put the 35 – year – old on the other side of the international break in November.
Fabinho is also doubtful as he is taking care of a knee injury but Thiago Alcantara can return to the squad after participating in full training last week.
RED. AND. WHITE. pic.twitter.com/REgSzXw10M
– Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) October 31, 2021
Atletico will not be able to rely on a couple of players who started the reverse match as Griezmann is serving his suspension for a straight red card, and his compatriot Geoffrey Kondogbia is struggling with a muscle injury.
Thomas Lemar is also hesitant after sitting out the last two matches with a thigh problem. Marcos Llorente, who infamously named his dog after Liverpool’s land after his heroism on Merseyside 2020, has been sidelined with a muscle injury since a late participant in last month’s matchup.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Jones, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Jota, Mane
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso; Trippier, De Paul, Koke, Carrasco; Correa, Suarez, Felix
These clubs have reached nine European Cup finals between them but have only faced each other seven times.
After a couple of draws in the Champions League group stage in 2008/09, Atletico snuck through the following season’s Europa League semi-finals with away goals, at Liverpool’s expense.
A decade passed before the two clubs would meet again and face each other in the 2019/20 Champions League round of 16.
Atletico took home a 1-0 victory before securing a notorious 3-2 victory at Anfield. Tragically, it will not be the exciting football that defines the second round, but the 37 deaths that the staging of that match – at the height of the coronavirus pandemic – caused, according to the government’s preliminary report on Britain’s response to the crisis.
Diego Simeone (left) and Jurgen Klopp have a history of handshakes, or lack thereof, in recent years / Laurence Griffiths / GettyImages
Both sides enter the match and ride on top of goal scorers who they both would probably swap for more defensive stability. On both sides of the meeting with Liverpool, Atletico Madrid have scored at least two goals in six straight games – but only won half of them.
Liverpool, unbelievably, have scored at least a number of goals in 14 of their 15 matches in all competitions this semester – but are in the middle of an undefeated start to the season which Klopp only considers “OK”.
In a slug party, the team with the best forward in the world obviously has the advantage, but it will definitely not be easy for Mohamed Salah and Liverpool.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Atletico Madrid