In the past year, Liverpool have taken the continent by storm in their pursuit of European domination. Jurgen Klopp’s ‘mentality monsters’ have their sights set on not just banishing their elusive 30-year wait for a league title but also the defence of their Champions League crown.
Jurgen Klopp’s European champions will make their long-awaited return to the Spanish capital following their triumph in the final of the competition back in June 2019.
The German boss will come up against Tuesday’s managerial counterpart Diego Simeone for the first time in his professional career with the German manager still unbeaten in all of his 10 two-legged European knockout ties since his Anfield arrival.
The Reds are aiming for a third consecutive UCL final in Istanbul come May as the Premier League champions-elect target a domestic and European double.
Liverpool’s imminent return to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium could also see Klopp include arguably the club’s strongest XI for the first time this season.
This would typically contain Alisson Becker in goal, a defensive quartet of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson. The midfield trident features Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum utilised together whilst the world’s most feared attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino complete the team.
Injuries to the likes of Alisson Becker and Fabinho during critical periods of the season have hindered Klopp in unleashing all 11 of his world-conquering all-stars. The German manager has thus far been unable to put the aforementioned team on the pitch for even a single minute of action in any competition.
The recent return of Sadio Mane who recently recovered from a hamstring problem to score the winner at Carrow Road on Saturday will likely see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita drop to the bench, but those calls will only boost the manager’s options late in the game against Simeone’s defensively obstinate outfit.
Liverpool predicted XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane