Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be travelling to Madrid to face Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium for Matchday 3 of Group B of the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League campaign. Group B is also considered to be the toughest group in the UCL, also known as the Group of Death, as it contains big clubs like Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and FC Porto. The Reds have had a positive start to their campaigning winning both their opening games, 3-2 against AC Milan and 5-1 away at FC Porto. They lead the group with six points already in their bag.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid are considered the second favourites to go out of this group, as they have also picked up four points from their two games. They hosted Porto to a goalless draw but were able to beat AC Milan 2-1 away from home. Ac Milan have lost both their opening games, while Porto have picked up just one point, which makes the group look a little easier for The Rossoneri and The Reds.
In the above viz, the xT timeline from the last UCL match between AC Milan and Atletico Madrid can be seen. After conceding in the early minutes of the match, Atletico Madrid came back really strongly and dominated the entire match. In the second half, Atletico completely overshadowed a ten-man Milan, to ensure a comeback from a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 in the injury time courtesy of a Luis Suarez spot-kick.
Atletico have done this not just once, but many times in La Liga as well, striking back right at the dead-end of the match to get away with a draw or win the match. The willingness to not give up till the end has really helped Simeone’s men so far and it will help them ten folds against Liverpool’s high pressing system where they have certainly failed to keep on the press for 90 minutes.
Liverpool are one of the most in-form sides in the world right now. They are unbeaten both in the Premier League and UCL and come into this match on the back of a 0-5 win over Watford on Saturday. Jurgen Klopp’s men are one of the most well-rounded and drilled team in Europe and are most certainly eager to avenge the defeat they faced last time. The image at the top shows the sheer dominance Liverpool showed on their 1-5 thumping of FC Porto away from home. They dominated every single attacking metric from the match and will again look to outscore their opponents.
The Reds are on top of the group with two wins in two matches. They have scored eight goals so far with the front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all having their names on the score sheet. Salah is in the form of his life and has scored three goals already being the top scorer. He will definitely be one of the biggest menaces for the Atletico defence.
Liverpool were miles ahead of Porto as a team, both offensively and defensively, a side Atletico drew against at home. Keeping Atletico’s struggles in UCL till now in mind, Liverpool is obviously going to be their biggest challenge as Klopp and his men have been able to break every single defence they have faced so far.
Atletico Madrid’s Predicted Starting XI (3-5-2): GK: Jan Oblak, LWB: Yannick Carrasco, CBs: Mario Hermoso, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Felipe, RWB: Kieran Trippier, LCM: Rodrigo De Paul, CM: Koke, RCM: Thomas Lemar, RCF: Luis Suarez, LCF: Joao Felix. (Injuries: Matheus Cunha and Stefan Savic[suspended])
Liverpool’s Predicted Starting XI (4-3-3): GK: Allison, LB: Andy Robertson, CBs: Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip, RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold, LM: Naby Keita, CM: Fabinho, RM: Jordan Henderson, LW: Sadio Mane, CF: Roberto Firmino, RW: Mo Salah. (Injuries: Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliot and Thiago Alcantara)