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UEFA Champions League: defending champions Liverpool clash with Atletico Madrid
Published in Daily News Egypt on 18 - 02 - 2020

The UEFA Champions League (UCL) is back into action on Tuesday when the last-16 ties get under way. Atletico Madrid will host defending champions Liverpool, and at the same time, Borussia Dortmund will host Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the Signal Iduna Park in what can be described as the most possible entertaining tie of the round.
Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the Spanish capital Madrid will witness the first leg of Atletico's fierce clash with the Reds, while the second leg will be played at Anfield Stadium on 11 March.
Liverpool's German coach Jürgen Klopp is known for applying high-pressure in the opponent's half through the 3-3-4 formation, which always results in creating many opportunities and successful interceptions. Klopp used this mechanism in the 2018 UCL final against Real Madrid, as Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino isolated the defence line of the Spanish team, to the point where the latter were forced to make long passes that eventually fell into the hands of the Reds.
On the other side, Atletico's Argentine coach Diego Simeone will do his best to get a positive result in the game to compensate the team's setback in the La Liga.
Simeone will apply tight defence to restrict the Brazilian Firmino, being an important player in Klopp's tactics.
The two teams met four times before, twice in the UCL and twice in the Europa League, where each team won once and other two ended in draw. The Spanish team scored four goals and conceded four others.
Liverpool generally played 40 games against Spanish teams, where they won 15 and lost 13. The English team scored 51 goals and conceded 44. Liverpool played 18 games in Spain, where they won seven games and lost six.
As for the other tie, PSG qualified for the round of 16 as top of their group. The French team played six games in the group stage; five wins and a draw. PSG failed to go beyond the UCL last-16 in the past three editions.
Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, barely made it to this round after facing difficult group stage ties against Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Czech SK Slavia Prague.


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