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08-Mar-2020, 09:43 pm

Poor Liverpool form will have no bearing on Champions League, says Atletico's Koke

Koke Atletico Madrid 2019-20

Atletico Madrid star Koke has said that Liverpool's recent struggles will not have an impact on Wednesday's Champions League match between the sides.

Jurgen Klopp's side had threatened to become the second team to go through a Premier League campaign undefeated but suffered a shock 3-0 reverse at the hands of Watford.

Three days later, the Reds were dumped out of the FA Cup at the hands of Chelsea, representing a third defeat in four matches given that Atleti had won the first leg of their tie 1-0 in Spain.

There was some evidence of a recovery on Saturday as they overcame Bournemouth 2-1 at Anfield, but the performance was not convincing, with the guests having several opportunities to level.

With that in mind, Koke expects a reaction from the Reds on Wednesday.

"Yes, they have lost games, but that has no influence on the Champions League," he said following a 2-2 draw with Sevilla.

"We go to Liverpool with confidence, as there is a place in the last eight at stake. They are a great team, and it will be very difficult.

"Liverpool are going to be champions in England, and of course I would like Atletico to be at that level.

"We have to learn lessons from the defeat in Turin last year, as it will take a great effort to go through."

Atleti suffered disappointment at this juncture in the Champions League last season. After winning 2-0 at home against Italian champions Juventus, they were overwhelmed by a virtuoso performance by Cristiano Ronaldo in the return match as the Portuguese scored a treble to eliminate them.

Progress into the knockout stages was secured with difficulty as they suffered defeats away to Bayer Leverkusen and Juve in the group stage, though they have lost only four matches in the Primera Division this term.

Twelve draws in 11 league matches have left Diego Simeone's side well off the pace domestically - they currently reside fifth in the standings - and Europe remains their last remaining chance of silverware this term.

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