MX23RW : Thursday, February 20 09:02:20| >> :600:340777:340777:
Feb 18, 2020 at 8pm UK at ​Vicente Calderon Stadium
Attendance: 67,443
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Niguez (4')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Atletico Madrid gear up for strong run of form

Atletico Madrid are gearing up for their Final 16 clash against Premier League leaders Liverpool FC. With several key players now good to go, Atleti fans are cautiously optimistic.

The Final 16 of the Champions League Promises Action Galore

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Atletico Madrid, sponsored by CFD trading platform Plus500, is currently ranked fourth in the La Liga table, a much improved performance over the previous week when they were ranked sixth. In their last five games, Atletico Madrid have won two, lost two and drawn one. The team are currently on 39 points in La Liga, a significant way behind Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Getafe CF.

One of the most highly anticipated matches on the calendar is the first leg of the final 16 of the UEFA Champions League. The match is slated for Tuesday, February 18 at 3pm, when Atletico Madrid will face off against Premier League juggernauts Liverpool. The second leg of the contest between these teams will take place on March 11.

Atletico Madrid have been facing serious injury concerns ahead of the first clash against Liverpool. The team recently announced that Diego Costa is back in contention for the matchup, and this will boost prospects for the airtight defence of Atleti against arguably the finest Liverpool outfit that has ever existed. Other players marked fit for the upcoming match are Santiago Arias, Hector Herrera and Jose Gimenez. Jurgen Klopp's team have been in majestic form, winning two dozen matches so far, with just one draw. Liverpool has a clean sheet in their last five games and are currently on 76 points, with more to come. They are 25 points ahead of Manchester City in second place, and 26 points ahead of Leicester City in third place. Chelsea are in a distant fourth place in the UK Premier League standings, on 41 points.

The Road to Redemption: Atleti Face Stern Test Against the Reds

liverpool scarves

Atletico Madrid have an uphill battle ahead of them in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. The team will be without the heroics of full-back Kieran Trippier as the former Tottenham player has a groin injury. Other top strikers for Atleti include the team's most prized asset, Joao Felix who was signed over the summer at a staggering cost of £126m. Though they were eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Cultural Leonesa, it appears as though Atletico Madrid have doubled down and are eager to make amends. That so many team members are struggling with injuries is a worrying sign for this La Liga team. However, coach Diego Simeone is hopeful (and desperate) that his charges will return to form when they face off against the greatest challenge of the season, Liverpool.

The last time these two teams met on August 2, 2017, it was a draw. But the game went into a penalty shootout and Liverpool lost to Atletico Madrid (4-5). Now things are a little different. Liverpool are on track to achieve their first ever Premier League title and they are also doubly eager to retain their status as Champions of Europe. Recently, the younger squad members in Liverpool help the team progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup. It may be difficult for the Reds to win against Atleti on their home turf, and the Spaniards have proven to be one of the most obdurate teams to beat in Europe. As it stands, betting odds clearly favour Liverpool (based on form) over Atletico Madrid. But that could turn on a dime if the home team and the crowds add that much-needed X factor to help Atleti to a big win. It's a long shot, and a win will certainly go down in history as one of the great underdog victories of modern times.

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2Manchester CityMan City26173667293854
3Leicester CityLeicester26155654262850
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs2611784334940
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2610972824439
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd2610883829938
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2681263532336
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2687112440-1631
14Crystal Palace2679102332-930
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2669113138-727
17Aston Villa2674153450-1625
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2666143045-1524
20Norwich CityNorwich2646162448-2418

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