Liverpool have been in a run of poor form since their mid-season break, at least by their own high standards of the past two seasons, having lost three of the past five games in all competitions.
However, that poor form and a one goal advantage heading into the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie isn’t enough to make Atletico Madrid feel comfortable about their chances.
It’s not just their opponents, either. It’s recent history, with Atleti taking a two goal advantage into the second leg of their Round of 16 tie last season before suffering a 3-2 aggregate loss.
“They will put a lot of pressure on us,” said Aleti captain Koke. “I have seen few teams so direct and intense. We have to try to win. If we only think about defending, it can happen to us as against Juve.”
Liverpool, on the other hand, will be thinking back to their own comeback against a Spanish side last season when they harassed the power of Anfield to defeat Barcelona after a first leg defeat on the road.
With Liverpool’s recent struggles for form, then—not to mention Atleti’s own stumbles—and both clubs’ recent histories in the Champions League, that second leg is shaping up to be an interesting affair.
“We have to learn so that it doesn’t happen again,” Koke added. “I’ve never been to Anfield and I don’t have to be afraid, just excited and eager to play against them in a stadium with so much history.”