Liverpool await their biggest match of the season at Anfield on Wednesday night when Atletico Madrid arrive at the home of the European champions for the highly-anticipated second-leg of their Champions League last-16 bout.
Jurgen Klopp’s team trail the Spanish giants 1-0 following Diego Simeone’s tactical masterclass at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium last month.
Atletico have proven themselves to be one of the toughest opponents to break down and Liverpool’s task to get the better of Simeone’s 2014 and 2016 UCL runners-up will be a daunting task.
However, there is one glaring weakness in Atletico’s armoury that Liverpool can exploit when the La Liga heavyweights arrive on Merseyside.
The travelling Spanish party have proven themselves a formidable force at home in the European Cup with Atletico unbeaten at home in the knockout stages of the competition since 1997.
Atletico have won four of their previous four home knockout fixtures and have beaten Liverpool, Juventus, Real Madrid and Leicester City in the process.
Despite their impregnability at their home fortress in recent years, Atletico’s form away from the Spanish capital has been their undoing in the competition.
In fact, Simeone’s team have failed to score away from home in the knockout stages of the Champions League since 2017 and have won just two of their previous 12 European Cup away fixtures.
Juventus, who were in a similar position to Liverpool last season, overturned a 2-0 deficit from the first-leg against Atletico following a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo that ensured the Serie A champions progressed into the quarter-finals following a 3-0 victory.
Atletico have proven themselves a different proposition entirely away from home and this is something that Jurgen Klopp can exploit at Anfield on Wednesday night.
The German manager has never lost a two-legged European tie at Anfield and after all, Liverpool have been here before against Spanish opposition.
Commence Operation Anfield Exercise.