A former Anfield favourite has urged the Reds “to turn defence into attack quickly” when the Spanish outfit arrive on Merseyside in midweek
Jurgen Klopp has to instruct his Liverpool players “to move the ball fast” in their Champions League showdown against Atletico Madrid, according to Jamie Carragher, who expects Diego Simeone to set his side up to protect a 1-0 aggregate lead.
Liverpool will play host to Atletico at Anfield in a huge last-16 second-leg tie on Wednesday, where they will be aiming for another famous European comeback in order to progress to the quarter-finals.
The Rojiblancos hold a narrow advantage heading into the clash thanks to Saul Niguez’s early strike at Wanda Metropolitano last month, but history suggests that the Reds are capable of overturning that deficit in front of their own fans.
Klopp’s men battled back from 3-0 down against Barcelona in last season’s semi-final en route to winning the competition, with Virgil van Dijk admitting that overcoming Atletico will require the same levels of focus this time around.
Carragher, who was part of the Liverpool side that lifted the European Cup in Istanbul back in 2005, says his old club will have to “take risks” to find a way through Atletico’s stubborn rearguard, with Simeone likely to put 11 men behind the ball whenever possible.
“You’ve got to move the ball fast in a game like this,” the Reds legend told The Athletic.
“When you get the opportunity to really attack Atletico you’ve got to go for it and that means taking risks.
“You might lose the ball more than normal in trying to force it but it’s about reacting to situations and not allowing them to get organised with 11 men behind the ball.
“Atletico won’t commit many players forward but on the rare occasions they do have two or three caught upfield, you need to turn defence into attack quickly.
“As soon as the goalkeeper catches it, he needs to be looking to get Liverpool flying at them.”
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Klopp has insisted that Liverpool will “need to be nearly perfect” to beat Atletico, but he is confident that his team can better their Spanish opponents in key areas of the pitch if they are firing on all cylinders.
After their latest European outing, the Reds will get back to the bread and butter of the Premier League, with a Merseyside derby clash against Everton set to take place at Goodison Park on Monday.
Another victory would see Liverpool move to within just three points of a first league title in 30 years, which ex-Anfield favourite John Barnes believes is more important for the club than securing another Champions League crown.