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Feb 18, 2020 at 8pm UK
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
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Atletico Madrid gear up for strong run of form

:Headline: Atletico Madrid gear up for strong run of form:
Atletico Madrid are gearing up for their Final 16 clash against Premier League leaders Liverpool FC. With several key players now good to go, Atleti fans are cautiously optimistic.

The Final 16 of the Champions League Promises Action Galore

Atletico Madrid, sponsored by CFD trading platform Plus500, is currently ranked fourth in the La Liga table, a much improved performance over the previous week when they were ranked sixth. In their last five games, Atletico Madrid have won two, lost two and drawn one. The team are currently on 39 points in La Liga, a significant way behind Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Getafe CF.

One of the most highly anticipated matches on the calendar is the first leg of the final 16 of the UEFA Champions League. The match is slated for Tuesday, February 18 at 3pm, when Atletico Madrid will face off against Premier League juggernauts Liverpool. The second leg of the contest between these teams will take place on March 11.

Atletico Madrid have been facing serious injury concerns ahead of the first clash against Liverpool. The team recently announced that Diego Costa is back in contention for the matchup, and this will boost prospects for the airtight defence of Atleti against arguably the finest Liverpool outfit that has ever existed. Other players marked fit for the upcoming match are Santiago Arias, Hector Herrera and Jose Gimenez. Jurgen Klopp's team have been in majestic form, winning two dozen matches so far, with just one draw. Liverpool has a clean sheet in their last five games and are currently on 76 points, with more to come. They are 25 points ahead of Manchester City in second place, and 26 points ahead of Leicester City in third place. Chelsea are in a distant fourth place in the UK Premier League standings, on 41 points.


The Road to Redemption: Atleti Face Stern Test Against the Reds

Atletico Madrid have an uphill battle ahead of them in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. The team will be without the heroics of full-back Kieran Trippier as the former Tottenham player has a groin injury. Other top strikers for Atleti include the team's most prized asset, Joao Felix who was signed over the summer at a staggering cost of £126m. Though they were eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Cultural Leonesa, it appears as though Atletico Madrid have doubled down and are eager to make amends. That so many team members are struggling with injuries is a worrying sign for this La Liga team. However, coach Diego Simeone is hopeful (and desperate) that his charges will return to form when they face off against the greatest challenge of the season, Liverpool.

The last time these two teams met on August 2, 2017, it was a draw. But the game went into a penalty shootout and Liverpool lost to Atletico Madrid (4-5). Now things are a little different. Liverpool are on track to achieve their first ever Premier League title and they are also doubly eager to retain their status as Champions of Europe. Recently, the younger squad members in Liverpool help the team progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup. It may be difficult for the Reds to win against Atleti on their home turf, and the Spaniards have proven to be one of the most obdurate teams to beat in Europe. As it stands, betting odds clearly favour Liverpool (based on form) over Atletico Madrid. But that could turn on a dime if the home team and the crowds add that much-needed X factor to help Atleti to a big win. It's a long shot, and a win will certainly go down in history as one of the great underdog victories of modern times.

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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona27184563313258
2Real Madrid27168349193056
3Sevilla27138639291047
4Real Sociedad27144945331246
5Getafe27137737251246
6Atletico MadridAtletico271112431211045
7Valencia2711973839-142
8Villarreal27115114438638
9Granada27115113332138
10Athletic Bilbao2791082923637
11Osasuna2781093438-434
12Real Betis2789103843-533
13Levante27103143240-833
14AlavesAlaves2788112937-832
15Real Valladolid27611102333-1029
16EibarEibar2776142741-1427
17Celta Vigo27511112234-1226
18Mallorca2774162844-1625
19Leganes2758142139-1823
20Espanyol2748152346-2320
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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