Liverpool's Champions League defence resumes.
It’s back. It seems like an age since our last dose of Champions League action, but it’s finally time for the business stage of the competition to get started.
Atletico Madrid v Liverpool is an intriguing bout. Liverpool, who are world champions, don’t forget, are second-favourites to win the competition behind Manchester City (which I disagree with; Liverpool should be favourites), and I honestly don’t envisage a scenario where Jurgen Klopp’s men falter – they’re just far too good in every department.
While they’ll always be a tough nut to crack, this is the perfect time for Liverpool to play Atleti. The hosts have lost four of their last seven matches (winning just once), and while their home record has remained strong throughout the season, I still fancy Liverpool to edge this first-leg.
This won’t be high-scoring. Atleti have characteristically conceded just six goals at home in the league during their 12 matches, but Liverpool have kept 10 clean sheets in their last 11, and the visitors’ superior firepower, momentum and quality will see them through this opening encounter.
Liverpool to win and under 3.5 goals to be scored looks a solid bet considering Atleti’s recent struggles.