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Back to European football this week and a difficult away game for the Reds at the scene of our recent European trimph. Over recent seasons Athletico were the one team I was hoping we would avoid in the draw. Playing aganst one of the glamour teams is always an exciting proposition even if you lose but Athletico have been the strongest of the non-glamour teams. In particular they have had a really strong defence and enough in attack to cause anyone problems. Besides that Simeone always has them fired up aginst the best teams and exploits their underdog status. They will certainly be fired up against the Reds but they have had a huge turnover of players in the last year or so and their team is very different from the one that was so formidable only recently. They still don't concede a lot of goals but their defence is not as watertight as before and they have struggled to score goals. On top of that they have had a lot of injuries to attacking players though they are now starting to return.
The main aim of any team going into the away leg of a European knockout tie is to come away with everything to be decided in the home leg. A win would be great but a score draw is also useful or indeed any draw. My team would be :
Trent Gomez VVD Robertson
Henderson Fabinho Wijnaldum
Salah Firmino Mane
Wijnaldum did not have a good game against Norwich but i would include him for his experience. I am anticipating a close game, possibly a draw, with us going through by beating them at Anfield. With the PL almost won I am feeling greedy for a second trophy (sorry fourth) and either the FA Cup of the CL would round off the seson very nicely.