Best photos as Liverpool train ahead of Atletico Madrid clash

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The Reds trained ahead of their trip to Madrid for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie, with Xherdan Shaqiri remaining the only absentee.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds were back at Melwood on Monday morning following their 1-0 victory at Norwich over the weekend, where preparations for the upcoming clash at Atletico Madrid started.

Liverpool will make the short journey to the Spanish capital later on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s evening kickoff.

The Reds continue the defence of their European title at the stadium which saw them crowned champions, with Klopp and his fellow coaches overseeing training with 21 players involved.

With the last game having finished less than 48 hours ago, the majority of the squad will still be in their second day of recovery as they look to swiftly switch their focus to Europe’s premier competition.

The team started with a warmup and some light ball work with fitness coach Conall Murtagh taking the lead as Klopp, Peter Krawietz, Pepijn Lijnders and Vitor Matos watched on.

The match-up with Atletico was one which led to a feeling of apprehension in the immediate aftermath of the draw, but Liverpool will fear no one despite their “underdog mentality.”

Shaqiri was not in training due to an ongoing calf injury in what is the only absence for the boss to consider, but Sadio Mane is set for a return to the XI and is full of confidence after his match-winning goal at Norwich.

Liverpool’s No. 10 will be reunited with the remainder of the formidable front three as Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both trained as normal.

The trio have a combined six goals in the Champions League this season, but the Brazilian, while setting up four goals, has yet to find himself on the scoresheet in Europe.

And while Klopp has an abundance of options at his disposal for the trip to Madrid, his team selection is relatively straightforward.

The settled back five is set to remain as a unit, with the midfield the only department set to see the boss pause for thought.

But it would come as no surprise should he turn to the ever-reliable trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum – leaving the likes of James Milner, Adam Lallana, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino to fight for game time from the bench.

With the under-23s playing on Monday night, Klopp was unable to call upon members of the academy but 18-year-old Luis Longstaff, who made his debut in the League Cup tie at Aston Villa, was present throughout.

All focus is now firmly on Atletico, who have won just one of their last seven, and ensuring a positive result is brought back to Anfield for the second leg in March.


Full Liverpool squad in training

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Adrian

Defenders: Van Dijk, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Matip, Lovren

Midfielders: Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Milner, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, Minamino, Longstaff

Forwards: Firmino, Salah, Mane, Origi

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