MATCHDAY: Benfica-Liverpool, City-Atléti in Champions League
A look at what’s happening in the Champions League on Tuesday:
BENFICA vs. LIVERPOOL
Liverpool will continue its quest for a quadruple of major trophies when it visits Benfica, considered one of the easiest teams in the draw for the last eight. Jurgen Klopp will have a full squad available for the first time since he took charge of the team in 2015. Right back Trent Alexander-Arnold was rested against Watford on Saturday in the Premier League after injury but is expected to return. Benfica is considered an underdog but has already finished ahead of Barcelona in the group stage and won in the last 16 against Ajax, another team with a free-flowing attack like Liverpool’s. Benfica coach Nélson Veríssimo also is expected to have all his players available for the first leg at the Estádio da Luz, including Morocco international Adel Taarabt, who had been out injured. Benfica had been unbeaten in nine straight matches in all competitions before losing at Braga in the Portuguese league on Friday.
MANCHESTER CITY vs. ATLÉTICO MADRID
It’s the first competitive match between two teams who are looking to win the Champions League for the first time. Both have reached the final, with Atléti losing to Real Madrid in 2014 and ’16 and City beaten by Chelsea last year. City is heading into a crunch period of the season with the two legs against Atlético coming either side of a Premier League title showdown with Liverpool on Sunday. First-choice center back Ruben Dias is unlikely to play in any of those games as he recovers from a hamstring injury while right back Kyle Walker completes a three-match European suspension. Atlético is back in Manchester having beaten United 1-0 away last month to advance from the last 16. That’s one of the six games the Spanish champions have won in a row — their longest winning streak since February 2018. The winner over two legs will face Chelsea or Real Madrid in the semifinals.
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