by Zack Lambert
Atlético Madrid at Liverpool
Spread: Liverpool (-1); O/U: 2.5
Moneyline: Atlético +575, Liverpool -180, Draw +295
Time/Location: 4:00 ET, Anfield, Liverpool, England
Score on Aggregate: Atlético Madrid 1-0 Liverpool
Atlético Madrid (DWWDD)
Atléti haven’t lost a game recently but they’ve been far from in form, especially for a Simione team. However, things are getting better for the 5th place team in Spain as record transfer João Félix scored a goal in his return from injury. Atléti will need a better result match than they’ve produced recently to move on, though.
Madrid don’t need to win, but they need to control the game. If they can limit the times that Liverpool build up and make legitimate runs and pushes for goals, they’ll be able to pull off this upset. Saúl and Partey will be integral to keeping Liverpool off the attack the entire game and their passing needs to dictate the pace of the match.
Atlético don’t need a drove of goals to beat Liverpool but they will need at least one more to move on. Liverpool have one of the top front lines in the world and keeping them scoreless over two games is too much to ask. However, if the youngster Félix or Álvaro Morata could punch through, it should be enough.
Liverpool are in a bad way after having one of the greatest starts to a season ever, losing three of their last five and, as we know, are in danger of being knocked out of the Champions League. A quick turnaround for Jürgen Klopp’s men is necessary if they want to have a chance at securing their seventh European title along with their first league trophy in over 30 years.
Liverpool have depended on the offense led by Africans Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah to score their goals and they’ll be heavily involved and depended upon for Wednesday’s match. Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold will also be needed to send in cross after cross so the attackers can send balls on target.
Beating Jan Oblak will be tough but handling the attack of Atléti should be a bit of a relief for the defensive trio of Fabinho, van Dijk, and Matip as Atléti have been light in that department all season. Taking advantage and pressing the Spaniard’s defense should help the Reds handle their deficit.
Analysis and Pick
Liverpool are massive favorites and for a good reason, a desperate team is dangerous, especially when they’re Liverpool. They can score goals in a flash and have the big game experience in this situation, just ask Barcelona. I don’t like the spread being set at one as I feel as though it will be a one goal game towards Liverpool.
That being said, I recommend taking the over. A 2-1 match in Liverpool’s favor seems likely, so yes, I’m taking Atléti to land the knockout blow. It isn’t where the money is but Atléti aren’t going to win this match. They could draw, but I suggest taking the Liverpool moneyline.