Jurgen Klopp may have been handed some of the best news possible ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, as he will have the majority of his squad available to select, according to a match preview by Sky Sports.
Xhedran Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne are the two men that are unavailable for the Anfield outfit, however the German manager will be able to call upon Takumi Minamino for the first time in the competition.
The Japanese playmaker has already featured for Red Bull Salzburg, playing in all six group games for the Austrian Bundesliga side. The Liverpool January signing netted twice whilst also providing three assists as he provided his former club with a goal threat (per WhoScored).
According to his stats by WhoScored, the 25-year-old Liverpool man averaged a total of 2.8 shots per game, contributed two key passes and completed 1.5 dribbles every 90 minutes.
The Reds will continue their defence of the Champions League title with their first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Indeed, the Premier League outfit already have a taste of success when it comes down to playing at the stadium in the Spanish capital, although not against the current occupiers.
Liverpool defeated Tottenham Hotspur in last season’s competition final and they will need to be at their very best to overcome the challenge of Atletico.
Klopp’s counter-part, Diego Simeone, has an excellent record in Europe’s elite tournament with Los Rojiblancos when playing at home in the knock-out stages.
The La Liga giants are yet to be beaten in their last 12 encounters, having won eight of them and drawing the other four – having only conceded two goals (per Sky Sports).
This will be an intriguing match-up for the neutral as it pits a devastating Liverpool attacking unit against a misery Atletico rearguard.
Klopp will hope for away goals in the Spanish capital to set up another big Anfield night in the replay.