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Champions League: Jürgen Klopp Has A Fully Fit Squad To Choose For Quarter-Final First Leg At Benfica

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The Champions League continues this week and there are three English teams in action as Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all bid to reach the semi-finals. The first legs of the quarter-finals begin on Tuesday, at 11 pm with Man City and Liverpool.

Klopp confirmed on Monday that Naby Keita, who missed the 2-0 win over Watford at the weekend, is available for Tuesday’s match at Estadio da Luz, along with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones and Joel Matip. Alexander-Arnold was an unused substitute for the Reds’ 10th consecutive Premier League victory on Saturday following a hamstring injury, while Jones and Matip each picked up knocks against the Hornets. Klopp said: “Yes, full squad available, absolutely.

Liverpool have been in exceptional form, winning 14 of 18 inside 90 minutes this year. Of the other four, two were in two-leg ties they won, one in the Carabao Cup final which they won on penalties and the other a 2-2 against the European champions, Chelsea. With Luis Díaz added to the forward line in January, Jürgen Klopp has described this as the greatest squad he has managed.

Man City v Atlético Madrid

Atlético are going through one of their periodic crises of identity, as they toy with switching to a more expansive approach before returning to the defensive, deep-lying spoiling and counterattacking that brought victory over Manchester United. This has not been a classic Atlético season. Even with 10 games to go they have let in more goals than ever before under Diego Simeone, a detail only partly to do with an attempt to push higher up the pitch.

Jan Oblak has been one of the best goalkeepers in the world since joining Atlético in 2014, but this season his save percentage has dropped from 75-80% in the previous seven years to 54%. At the other end, João Félix, at 22, looks as though he may be delivering on the expectations that persuaded Atlético to pay £113m for him in 2019.

Chelsea v Real Madrid

Are Real Madrid any good? They are 10 points clear in La Liga but the sense is that Spanish football is in retreat. They were outplayed for two and a half hours of the last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain and for all the brilliance of Karim Benzema and Luka Modric in those final minutes, it’s also true that the turnaround was as much the result of another PSG collapse as anything they did.

Although Carlo Ancelotti’s substitutions made an impact, with Eduardo Camavinga’s energy a major factor, they remain reliant on an ageing midfield. And the feeling with Spanish sides for some time is that physically they are not comfortable against an aggressive press – which perhaps, as much as the need to deny Kylian Mbappé space to accelerate into, explains their weird timidity in Paris.

Although uncertainty haunts the European champions after the sanctions against Roman Abramovich, performances have remained good and there has always been a sense that Thomas Tuchel’s slightly more conservative model of the pressing game is better suited to European competition than the league

First Leg Matches

Tuesday, 5th April 2022

  • Man. City v Atletico Madrid
  • Benfica v Liverpool

Wednesday, 6th April 2022

  • Chelsea v Real Madrid
  • Villarreal v Bayern Munich

Second Leg Matches

Tuesday, 12th April 2022

  • Bayern Munich v Villarreal
  • Real Madrid v Chelsea

Wednesday, 13th April 2022

  • Atletico Madrid v Manchester City
  • Liverpool v Benfica
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