Saul Niguez – We can hurt Liverpool

Saul Niguez believes that Atletico Madrid can hurt Liverpool when both sides meet in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 fixture at the Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday. Diego Simeone’s men welcome the Premier League’s highflyers at the same venue where the Reds emerged as UCL winners last season with a 2 nil win against Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool are favorites following Atletico Madrid’s poor run of form with just 1 win in their last 7 games although Saul has insisted that they can surprise bookmakers and get the fans back on their side.

There’s no memory in football: What you did yesterday is no use. We had a good run before Christmas then we fell away and it was hard. People wanted to kill us. Do I think it’s unfair? 

“Honestly, yes. But it’s life. People whistle Cholo [Atletico manager Simeone], important players; the fans are demanding. If we win two or three games, it’ll change again. 

“We know how we can hurt Liverpool, their strengths and weaknesses, and we always compete against big teams. We have to make the most of the home game. There will be an incredible atmosphere, more than ever.”

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Saul, 25, was full of praise for Liverpool’s style of play especially for how they press like animals when the ball is not in their possession. The Reds have taken 103 points from their last possible 105 in the Premier League and have not suffered a top-flight defeat since the 2:1 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad in January 2019.

Saul added that he watched the game at Carrow Road and spotted some loopholes in Liverpool’s performance. 

Liverpool are very complete, a great team in every area [but] they find it hardest when you’re deep because they’re very, very, very good in transition. I watched them against Norwich, and if it wasn’t for Mane’s extraordinary control, they don’t win. 

“They’ve won lots of games they could have drawn or lost, which tells you something about what they have inside. It’s not luck. It’s work, sacrifice, not giving up a single ball for lost.”

Although Liverpool is not any one’s favorite opponent in recent times, Saul is motivated to succeed where many have failed and when asked how to combat Liverpool’s statistics, he said: “You break them.”

Atletico Madrid are fourth in the La Liga after the 2 all draw against Valencia on Friday. A win against Liverpool will see a lot of faith being restored in the side that has stuttered this season.

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