Liverpool will take on their biggest challenge of the season against Atletico Madrid this month. But it looks impossible right now.
The Reds lost 1-0 in Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie. It was a thoroughly disappointing game, in fact, as they conceded early and couldn’t find a way past a very stubborn defence.
Thus the return at Anfield is about keeping a clean sheet, really. Liverpool will need to score, of course, but making sure Atletico don’t will likely be the true difference.
On Atletico goal, after all, means Liverpool need three – and we know how difficult that will be. One goal will be tough.
And so we hoped to see a clean sheet against Watford on Saturday. It came after a very poor defensive display against West Ham United the Monday before, meaning the Reds needed to get back on track.
We got the opposite, though. Liverpool lost 3-0 and looked awful, especially defensively.
It means that Liverpool have conceded five in two games since losing to Atletico. They haven’t played prolific sides, either, but keep conceding good chances and goals.
If they concede two to West Ham and three to Watford, how on earth will they keep a team as good as Atletico at bay? Two or three against them and Liverpool can practically kiss their chances goodbye.
Stopping Atletico from scoring while finding two goals is the challenge. On current form, however, it looks impossible.