Atletico Madrid skipper Koke has dismissed any potential advantage Liverpool’s mixed Premier League form will have on next week’s Champions League meeting.
Los Rojiblancos beat Jurgen Klopp’s side 1-0 in their last 16 first leg meeting a fortnight ago, with the Reds struggling ever since.
The runaway Premier League leaders have lost their 44 league game unbeaten run with a defeat at Watford last weekend, followed by a FA Cup exit at the hands of Chelsea.
They returned to winning ways against Bournemouth today, in a scrappy 2-1 win, but the Spanish international is unconcerned by the recent dip in results.
“We go to Liverpool with confidence, as there is a place in the last eight at stake,” he told a post game interview with Marca after their 2-2 draw with Sevilla.
“They are a great team, and it will be very difficult.”
“We have to learn lessons from the defeat in Turin last year, as it will take a great effort to go through.”
“Liverpool are going to be champions in England, and of course I would like Atletico to be at that level.”
“Yes, they have lost games, but that has no influence on the Champions League.”
Koke is expected to lead Diego Simeone’s side at Anfield, after returning to the side in the last month.
Midfield partner Thomas Partey will also come back in after serving a La Liga ban against Sevilla, with Renan Lodi also expected to be fit.
However, Simeone must make a decision on his attacking options to face the defending European champions.
Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa started in the first leg, but the return to form and fitness of Joao Feliz could see the Portuguese international come into the starting line up.
Image courtesy of Marca