Atlético vs Liverpool preview: where to watch, predicted line-ups, team news

Atlético Madrid welcome Liverpool in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 opener – all you need to know.

Atleti coach Diego Simeone on the eve of the Champions League round of 16 first leg against Liverpool
Atleti coach Diego Simeone on the eve of the Champions League round of 16 first leg against Liverpool AFP via Getty Images

Atlético Madrid welcome Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday 18 February at 21:00 CET. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.

ATLÉTICO v LIVERPOOL: BUILD-UP

Where to watch the game on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here.

Since the group stage

Atlético
Since Matchday 6: DWLDLLDWWWW (all competitions, most recent first)
Latest: Valencia 2-2 Atlético, 15/02
Next: Liverpool (h), 18/02 – UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg
Where they stand: 4th in Liga

Liverpool
Since Matchday 6: WWWDWWWWWWWWWLW
Latest: Norwich 0-1 Liverpool, 15/02
Next: Atlético (a), 18/02 – UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg
Where they stand: 1st in Premier League, FA Cup round of 16

Atlético and Liverpool meet in last 16 showdown
Atlético and Liverpool meet in last 16 showdown

Possible line-ups

Atlético: Oblak; Arias, Savić, Felipe, Saúl Ñíguez; Koke, Thomas, Llorente, Vitolo; Correa, Morata
Out: Trippier (hip), Herrera (unspecified), Félix (muscle)
Doubtful
: Costa (hernia)
Liverpool: Alisson Becker; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Out: Clyne (knee), Shaqiri (calf)
Misses next game if booked: Robertson

Expert predictions

Joe Walker, Atlético reporter: The draw couldn't have been much harsher on Diego Simeone's side, with the reigning champions coming to town, but the Atlético club motto is 'nunca se rinde' (never give up) and they will believe they can cause what would be a huge upset. Despite their numerous injuries, you can never count Los Rojiblancos out, and with the Metropolitano crowd behind them, they have every chance of getting a result to take to Anfield.

Matthew Howarth, Liverpool reporter: Liverpool's relentless march towards a first league title in 30 years shows no sign of slowing down, and Jürgen Klopp's side will be confident of transferring their imperious domestic form on to the European stage against an out-of-sorts Atlético side. The Metropolitano crowd will be much more partisan than on Liverpool's previous visit last June, but the outcome could well be the same.

Georginio Wijnaldum and Liverpool team-mates look around the venue
Georginio Wijnaldum and Liverpool team-mates look around the venue Liverpool FC via Getty Images

What the coaches say

Diego Simeone, Atlético coach: "Criticism is necessary and it helps us to improve. We are where we are and we have a tough opponent in front of us. The stadium will be at fever pitch; just like it will be for the return leg [at Anfield]. Our stadium will help us a lot, but the only thing that counts is what happens on the pitch. When the game starts, anything can happen. I see optimism and desire within the squad.

"I have no doubt that this Liverpool team will go down in history as a great side. They are different to teams we have admired in the past. They are intense, adaptable."

Diego Costa is a minor doubt after a hernia
Diego Costa is a minor doubt after a herniaAFP via Getty Images

Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool coach: "This is one of the most difficult fixtures in the life of a football player. They are a really well organised, well-oiled machine who are amazing at squeezing results. They are in a transition period, that's normal, but [Atlético ] are fighting with all they have. It's really difficult.

"People say I'm emotional on touchline, but if I'm level four then Diego is level 12. I'm the Kindergarten Cop compared to him!"

Previous meetings

• The teams have not met since the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League semi-finals, a tie Atlético won on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw. Diego Forlán got the only goal of the first game in Spain, Alberto Aquilani levelling the tie a minute before half-time in Liverpool. With no further goals the match went to extra time, Yossi Benayoun putting Liverpool in front on aggregate in the 95th minute only for Forlán to supply the decisive moment seven minutes later.

Atlético edge Liverpool in 2010 Europa League
Atlético edge Liverpool in 2010 Europa League

• The sides met for the first time in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage with both games ending 1-1, Simão scoring in the 83rd minute at the Vicente Calderón after Robbie Keane had given Liverpool a 14th-minute lead. At Anfield, a Steven Gerrard penalty five minutes into added time earned the home side a point, Maxi Rodríguez having putting Atlético in front in the 37th minute.

• Liverpool went on to top Group D with 14 points and Atlético finished as runners-up on 12. Los Rojiblancos were knocked out by Porto on away goals in the last 16, while the Reds lost to Chelsea in the quarter-finals.

Form guide

Atlético 
• Atlético finished with ten points in this season's group stage, six behind Juventus. Having fought back from two goals down to draw with Juve on Matchday 1, Atlético then won 2-0 at Lokomotiv Moskva and 1-0 at home to Bayer Leverkusen only to lose 2-1 in Germany and 1-0 at Juve; a 2-0 defeat of Lokomotiv in Madrid on Matchday 6 nevertheless earned second place.

Matchday 1 highlights: Atlético 2-2 Juventus
Matchday 1 highlights: Atlético 2-2 Juventus

• Second in Spain in 2018/19, this is Atlético's tenth UEFA Champions League campaign and their eighth appearance in the knockout stages.

• Atleti also finished second in their section in 2018/19 and bowed out in the round of 16 after succumbing to a Juventus fightback (2-0 h, 0-3 a).

• The Spanish side have still won four of their six round of 16 ties, losing only the first – on away goals against Porto in 2008/09 – and the last. Their most recent win was a 4-2 aggregate defeat of Leverkusen in 2016/17 (4-2 a, 0-0 h).

• Last season's 2-0 first-leg win against Juventus extended Atlético's unbeaten run in home UEFA Champions League knockout matches to 13 (W8 D5), since a 3-2 loss to Ajax in the 1996/97 quarter-final second leg that sealed a 4-3 aggregate defeat.

• A 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Matchday 2 in 2017/18 is Atlético's only defeat in the last 25 European games in their own stadium (W20 D4).

• Despite defeats on Matchdays 4 and 5 this season, Atlético have lost only five of their last 28 matches in continental competition (W17 D6).

• Atlético's last meetings with an English club came in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League semi-final, when they beat Arsenal 2-1 on aggregate (1-1 a, 1-0 h). They have been victorious in eight of their ten two-legged knockout contests against English teams, including the last four; only Derby County (1974/75 UEFA Cup) and Bolton Wanderers (2007/08 UEFA Cup) have eliminated them.

• At home Atlético have lost just once in 12 visits from English clubs (W7 D4) – that 2017 defeat against Chelsea in their first European game at the Estadio Metropolitano.

• The Rojiblancos have reached two UEFA Champions League and three UEFA Europa League finals in the last ten seasons.

Liverpool
• Liverpool won Group E with 13 points, one ahead of Napoli who were 2-0 winners against the holders on Matchday 1. The Reds won their next three matches, at home against Salzburg (4-3) and away (4-1) and home (2-1) against Genk, before being held 1-1 by Napoli at Anfield on Matchday 5. A 2-0 success at Salzburg proved enough to secure progress in first place.

Highlights: Salzburg 0-2 Liverpool
Highlights: Salzburg 0-2 Liverpool

• Last season, Jürgen Klopp's team beat Bayern München 3-1 away in the second leg of their round of 16 tie, going through by the same aggregate score, before ousting Porto 6-1 over two legs in the quarter-finals (2-0 h, 4-1 a). The journey looked to be over when the Reds went down 3-0 at Barcelona in the semi-final first leg, but two goals apiece from Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi sealed a rousing second-leg turnaround, before Mohamed Salah and Origi secured the club's sixth European Cup with a 2-0 final defeat of Tottenham in Madrid.

• Those results mean Liverpool have won their last 11 two-legged European ties, qualifying included. Their last defeat was on penalties in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 32 against Beşiktaş (1-0 home, 0-1 away). They have not lost a knockout phase tie in the UEFA Champions League since Chelsea beat them 7-5 on aggregate in the 2008/09 quarter-finals.

• The remarkable comeback win against Barcelona in 2018/19 made it four wins out of four against Spanish clubs in two-legged European Cup knockout ties for Liverpool, whose overall aggregate record in knockout ties with Liga sides is W9 L2.

• That second-leg win against Barcelona was only Liverpool's second success in their last ten fixtures against Spanish clubs (D2 L6) – a sequence that also includes 3-1 losses under Klopp in the 2016 UEFA Europa League final to Sevilla and the 2018 UEFA Champions League final to Real Madrid.

• The 3-0 loss at Barcelona last season made it five games without a win away to Spanish sides (D1 L4), since Liverpool's 1-0 victory at Real Madrid in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16, although their overall record in Spain is W7 D5 L6.

• Liverpool have won nine of their last 12 European fixtures (D2 L1) but have lost seven of their last 13 UEFA competition matches outside England.

Matchday 2 highlights: Liverpool 4-3 Salzburg
Matchday 2 highlights: Liverpool 4-3 Salzburg

• Premier League runners-up in 2018/19, this is Liverpool's third successive appearance in the round of 16 and eighth overall; their record is W6 L1. The sole defeat came against Benfica as holders in 2005/06.

• The Reds are unbeaten in eight UEFA Champions League round of 16 matches (W6 D2) and had kept seven consecutive clean sheets before conceding at Bayern last season. Their last defeat was a 1-0 loss at home to Barcelona in the 2006/07 second leg; they won that tie on away goals having triumphed 2-1 in Spain.

• Liverpool have already claimed European silverware this term, beating Chelsea 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul. They also won the FIFA Club World Cup in December, beating Flamengo 1-0 after extra time in the final.

Links and trivia

• Have played in England:
Kieran Trippier (Manchester City 1999–2011, Barnsley 2010–11 (loan), Burnley 2011–15, Tottenham 2015–19)
Stefan Savić (Manchester City 2011–12)
Álvaro Morata (Chelsea 2017–18)
Diego Costa (Chelsea 2014–17)

• Trippier played 90 minutes as Spurs lost 2-0 to Liverpool in last season's UEFA Champions League final at the Estadio Metropolitano.

• Have played in Spain:
Fabinho (Real Madrid 2012/13)
Adrián (Real Betis 1998–2013, Alcalá 2008 (loan), Utrera 2009 (loan))

• Have played together:
Stefan Savić & James Milner (Manchester City 2011–12)
Thomas Lemar & Fabinho (Monaco 2015–18)

• International team-mates:
Kieran Trippier & Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana (England)
Renan Lodi & Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho (Brazil)
Šime Vrsaljko & Dejan Lovren (Croatia)
Yannick Carrasco & Divock Origi (Belgium)

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