Atletico de Madrid defender Stefan Savic insists his team are approaching their Champions League clash against Liverpool with total optimism.
Diego Simeone’s are huge underdogs for the tie having won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions.
Atleti have slipped to fourth in La Liga and are just three points ahead of Real Sociedad, in eighth, while they were also eliminated from the Copa del Rey last month by third tier side Cultural y Leonesa.
By contrast, Liverpool are in fearsome form having picked up a remarkable 76 points from the first 78 available in this year’s Premier League season – a record for an elite league competition.
The first leg will be staged at Atleti’s Wanda Metropolitano home on Tuesday night – the venue at which Liverpool clinched last season’s Champions League crown with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham.
“We do not have any pessimism,” Savic told an interview with El Mundo.
“We have shown in the past that we never give up. We have always competed very well against larger teams.
“We probably are underdogs because of form at the moment, but I don’t think they are very calm. They know that we compete very well and that we are a tough opponent for anyone.
“The Juventus (2-0 first leg win) can be an example. We have played many good games against big teams.
“The comeback this season against Juve again, when we were 0-2 down on the scoreboard. Or the tie against Bayern, before the final in Milan (2016). We have also left out the Barcelona game.
“Liverpool have a very important and dangerous attack. But not only them, also those of the second wave of attack. They always arrive at the goal and you have to try to stop them.”
The 29-year-old has clocked up 139 first-team appearances for Atleti since a 2015 move from Fiorentina.