X

Sunday 23
February

Liverpool

Alexander-Arnold wary of ‘stubborn’ Atletico

8th January 2020, 11:37 by Aidan Perkins

Trent Alexander-Arnold says Liverpool are determined to defend their Champions League crown in 2020 but knows Atletico Madrid are "stubborn" last-16 opposition.

The Reds memorably won their sixth European Cup in June when they beat Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid and they will return to the venue of that game – the Wanda Metropolitana Stadium – to take on Atletico in the first knockout round of this season’s competition next month.

So far, Jurgen Klopp’s side have negotiated a group containing Napoli, Red Bull Salzburg and Genk and their attempts to defend their trophy are likely to be tested when they go up against Atletico in the last 16, with the first leg in Madrid on February 18 before the return game at Anfield on March 11.

Defender Alexander-Arnold is expecting a tough examination against a side that have finished in the top three in La Liga for the past seven years and are managed by the highly-respected Diego Simeone.

He said in Liverpool’s matchday programme, via the club’s website: “Atletico Madrid are a stubborn team, one that’s hard to break down, and a passionate team with a passionate manager. It’ll be interesting to see the two managers on the touchline and see who is more passionate!

“We had a tough group this year and a tough round of 16 opponent again, but we like to be tested as a team because it brings the best out of us. If you want to be the best you have to beat the best, so for us it’s about testing ourselves as much as possible.”

If Klopp’s side were to progress all the way to the final again this year it would mean a return to Istanbul and the Ataturk Stadium – where they famously won the trophy in 2005 against AC Milan – and Alexander-Arnold admits it would be special to go back as they chase more silverware.

He added: “Hopefully we’ll be able to go back to Istanbul again, which would be massive for the club, but to have a perfect 2020 we need to win as many trophies as possible.”

Liverpool are dominating in the Premier League this season and hold a 13 point advantage over second-placed Leicester City at the top with a game in hand ahead of Saturday’s trip to play Tottenham.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.

More Liverpool

Liverpool

Wijnaldum – Reds’ honest spirit fuelling title bid

22nd February 2020, 14:18

Georginio Wijnaldum says an honest attitude among the Liverpool players has helped create their winning mentality.

Liverpool

2020 Tokyo Olympics set to get football boost

21st February 2020, 19:37

The Olympics doesn’t tend to rank high on the list of priorities for top football stars but Tokyo appears be attracting some of the biggest names.

Liverpool

Leipzig ace Werner flatted by interest from “best team” Liverpool

20th February 2020, 10:15

RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner says it is fantastic to be linked with Liverpool although he doesn't believe he is at the Reds' level right now.

Liverpool

Liverpool wait on Henderson injury after Atletico Madrid setback

19th February 2020, 11:09

Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of Jordan Henderson after he picked up a hamstring injury against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

Liverpool

Liverpool’s unsung hero is a man who hasn’t even taken to the pitch

18th February 2020, 18:49

Michael Edwards won’t collect a winner’s medal when Liverpool claim the title, but he’s been as crucial as anyone to their success.

Liverpool

Klopp says Liverpool gunning for more Euro glory

18th February 2020, 03:23

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says the Reds are targeting back-to-back Champions League title wins and have consigned last season’s success to the history books.

Recent Sport Headlines

Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton boss hails Maupay and crucial point

23rd February 2020, 02:23

Graham Potter hailed the performance of Neal Maupay and was pleased with the point Brighton picked up at Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.

Sheffield United

Sheffield United boss Wilder happy to take a point

23rd February 2020, 02:23

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder refused to be too disappointed after watching his side held to a 1-1 draw with Brighton on Saturday afternoon.

Crystal Palace

Hodgson insists Crystal Palace are not safe yet

23rd February 2020, 02:23

Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace cannot get carried away with the win over Newcastle and there is still plenty of work left to be done to avoid the drop.

Tottenham Hotspur

Mourinho praying injured Tottenham stars return early

23rd February 2020, 01:51

Jose Mourinho is hoping some of his injured stars can make a miraculous recovery to bolster his beleaguered Tottenham squad before the season is over.

Arsenal

Arteta happy with Arsenal progress but not done yet

23rd February 2020, 01:51

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is calling for patience and insists he still needs time to get the Gunners playing his way.

Aston Villa

Who has the best run-in as the race for Premier League survival hots up?

23rd February 2020, 01:51

There are no easy games in the Premier League, especially when you are battling to stay up, but the fixture list could benefit some sides more than others.

Bournemouth

Howe calls for Bournemouth siege mentality to avoid drop

23rd February 2020, 01:51

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is calling for a siege mentality within the squad as they look to beat the drop following a demoralising loss at Burnley.

Chelsea

Giroud pleased to finally play Chelsea part

22nd February 2020, 20:22

Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud admitted it was a "special" day for him as he marked his return to the side with a goal in the 2-1 win over Tottenham.