Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has sent his team a warning regarding the threat that Atletico Madrid possess.
Liverpool, who are looking to defend the Champions League title this season, face Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the competition, with the first leg tonight at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. The second leg takes place on March 3 at Anfield.
Despite how strong Liverpool have been in recent times, Klopp understands that Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid could pose a threat to Liverpool’s objective, which is to retain the Champions League trophy.
Klopp said, as quoted by FourFourTwo: “Playing Atletico I would say is one of the most difficult things in the life of a football player.
“If there’s one team where you have to be at your absolute best, it’s Atletico. They give you absolutely no presents. If you work as hard as possible, you have a chance. If you don’t do that, you have no chance.
“The moment you are not 100 per cent concentrated, they close you down with two or three players and then counter-attack. If you are not focused and concentrated in your own offensive play, you will not even have a shot on target because they close the centre so good.”
Klopp is absolutely spot on. The Spanish giants have proven to be very difficult to break down over the years. They are always very organised.
However, despite Klopp giving Atletico Madrid some praise, he will have faith in his team. This Liverpool side have not given anyone a reason to doubt them.
It will be interesting to see how Liverpool approach the first leg. A draw would not be the worst result.
Freelance sports journalist and Red from Melbourne. Currently an editor at Anfield Watch.