Klopp full of respect for Atletico boss Simeone

Jurgen Klopp remains wary of Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid ahead of Liverpool's Champions League last-16 trip to the Wanda Metropolitano.

Jurgen Klopp is wary of Diego Simeone's side ahead of their Champions League last-16 encounter.   -  Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke of his respect for Diego Simeone ahead of a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano, saying he had a similar story to the Atletico Madrid head coach.

The Premier League leader visits Atletico in the first leg of its Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

Liverpool returns to the scene of its victory in last year's final, and it is preparing to face an Atletico side that is struggling.

But Klopp remains wary of Simeone and Atletico, which has just one win from its past seven games in all competitions.

"Their goal difference [in La Liga] is they have scored only 25 which is not too many, but have conceded only 17, which is low," he told UK newspapers.

"They have had massive injury problems in recent weeks, a lot of strikers missing. But [Alvaro] Morata was on the bench [against Valencia on Friday], I've heard [Diego] Costa is back in training and Joao Felix is available I'm pretty sure.

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"If somebody can play for a result, it's Atletico. Mr Simeone, who I respect a lot, he tries everything.

"We have a similar story a little bit. We tried a lot and didn't win, but we still tried. I like that. He is so competitive – wow! Actually, we have a good relationship but I'm pretty sure he will forget that on the touchline because he is so animated."

While facing Atletico away shapes as being tricky, the Wanda Metropolitano will bring back happy memories for Liverpool after its win over Tottenham in last year's final.

But Klopp said his side – which is 25 points clear atop the Premier League – was focused on its task.

"We know that it's just a stadium, but it's a positive emotion that we have when we think about that stadium," he said.

"It was one of our greatest nights and I'm pretty sure that when the boys will go in they will see it. But we are not going there for a pilgrimage. For sure not. We have had enough time to let these things settle."

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