Atletico Madrid v Liverpool | Live fans match thread!

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What a strange feeling: mid February and we have the league all but won. It's as easy to get your head around as Schroedinger's cat question. Not sure if others feel this but one effect, probably greed, I'm experiencing of late is I want more. More wins, more records, more trophies!

The league has been maybe too easy but that's a debate for another day, now it's as good as in the bag though we can try and add some (more) cups. Our next hurdle to that end are Atletico Madrid who on paper we should be able to beat. In this first leg however they have the home advantage and will do their best to make it as difficult a game for us as possible.

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Bus parking, time wasting, feigning injury, rough house tactics and general theatrics are all things we should be ready for and that's just from Diego Costa. We should also anticipate the referee lapping it up in favour of Atletico and conversely blowing against us for the smallest perceived infraction. The last bit in particular being something we've previously seemed ill-prepared for. Thankfully now we're a bit more streetwise - be ultra careful in challenges so as not to give the ref an excuse to reach for his cards and keep a calm head. I feel these aspects will be key.

What can we expect in terms of the actual football? Well our man in the know Joe recently posted the following which sums it up nicely.

"Not sure if Costa will play but that'd be an interesting battle between him and VVD or Joe Gomez - he’s a dirty player and I really dislike his antics especially his spitting etc but he seems to save that for the other Madrid. They have other good players too like Niguez Koke and the new ‘wonder kid Felix’ as well as a good keeper— we need to be careful I think they will be hard to score against but if we do score early then Mane could tear them a new one. The midfield battle will be full on."

Further to that we know their first choice right back Trippier is out so I expect to see us concentrate a fair amount of our attack through Robbo and Mane with a view to exploiting such. Being a hallmark of manager Simeone though, Atletico have a strong defence and even without Trippier it will be no cake walk for us to break them down. That will apply in midfield as well.

Of late Robbo hasn't looked quite at his best, Salah hasn't done all season and Firmino has not been as clinical as we'd have liked. Obviously we're still doing rather well but take the Norwich game, only a very late solitary goal got us three points and we'll need to be vastly better to win this one. Regular as clockwork though we rise to the big game occasion and every reason to expect we will tomorrow.

Team: Alisson, Robbo, VVD, Gomez, TAA, Hendo, Fabio, Gini, Mane, Mo, Bobby Firmino

And Liver Bird predicts the following scoreline...... 0-2


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