Liverpool were outfought in the first-leg v Atletico Madrid and Virgil van Dijk is adamant that won’t happen again.
The Spaniards scored early on three weeks ago, thanks to a defensive error and held on to bring a 1-0 lead back to Anfield, where we face Diego Simeone’s side tonight – thankfully in front of a full crowd despite the coronavirus epidemic.
Van Dijk has urged his team-mates to channel the feelings that helped us overturn a deficit v Barcelona from last season – where we famously won 4-0 at Anfield after losing 3-0 at Camp Nou.
“We couldn’t give any chances away against Barcelona, either,” Van Dijk told RTE.
“We will go with the same mindset as always. Hopefully win the game and play good football, but first and foremost, we have to deliver a lot of passion and hard work.
“We have to get everyone going from the first second to the last. Things can happen and they could be the better team but we all want to show why we want to go through with our qualities and deserve to be in the next round.
“Atletico will be tough, they are a fantastic side. They are one of the best in how they play.
“They are aggressive and they have fantastic players who can hurt you on the break too.”
If we score first this evening, we reckon we’ll stand a mighty chance of glory. Atleti will then have to at least play out if they want to a chance of progression via anything other than penalties.
Captain Jordan Henderson and left-back Andy Robertson are both fit – thankfully – and are expected to start the game.
Even if we progress, the future of the Champions League this season is uncertain due to CIVOD-19 – but the players can’t afford to have that on their minds.