Charlie Nicholas is of the opinion that Liverpool can beat Atletico Madrid tonight and qualify for the Champions League quarterfinals.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten 1-0 in the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano courtesy of an early goal from Saul Niguez. The second leg at Anfield will be played tonight and Liverpool will need to win by at least two goals if they are to advance to the last eight.
Nicholas is of the opinion that the reigning European champions can beat Diego Simeone’s side, predicting a 2-0 win. In his column for Sky Sports, the pundit wrote: “I think the result against Bournemouth amplified the stress and frustration Liverpool have at the moment. I did not think that was feasible, so I genuinely feel Atletico, albeit struggling in La Liga, will give Liverpool a run for their money.
“They scored a couple of goals against Sevilla at the weekend, with Joao Felix returning to the side while resting Diego Costa. The Anfield crowd will not phase Atletico. It will be down to the performance – some teams turn up already beaten. Atletico are a dogged side and they will rough Liverpool up. I think Liverpool will win, but I can see Atletico sneaking a goal. Liverpool have got the Premier League wrapped up but there is something in their mentality that may suggest they need this big game to spur them on once more.
“Joe Gomez was not at the races at the weekend, and Alisson is out. For the sake of Liverpool and Anfield, I am going with a 2-0 victory, but I would not rule out the likes of Costa coming back to haunt them. I am not convinced by my prediction.”
Of course it won’t be easy for Liverpool as Atleti are ahead on aggregate a very good defence. However, the Reds have overturned bigger deficits before and have the quality and mentality needed to get past Diego Simeone’s side. It won’t be an easy one for them though, especially with Alisson out.
After tonight’s fixture, Liverpool’s next game is against Everton at Goodison Park this weekend/