After a long break of 70 days, world's biggest club football tournament, the Uefa Champions League (UCL) is back in action. The tournament has already come down to 16 teams and every team aiming for the trophy are there.
On its first day of return, UCL will see defending champions Liverpool travel to Wanda Metropolitano to face Atletico in their bout to retain the title. In another mouthwatering clash, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) will face Borussia Dortmund in front of the famous Yellow Wall at the Signal Iduna Park.
Relentless Liverpool, abject Atletico
Liverpool this season have been ruthless, to say the least. Till date, they are unbeaten in the Premier League and are 25 points ahead of the second team of the table. They had a shaky start to their UCL campaign with a defeat against Napoli but managed to top the group. They have won nine of their last 10 games and are basking in splendid form.
On the other hand, Atletico Madrid are in shambles. They are fourth in La Liga with 40 points and have managed only one win in their last five games. Their strikers have failed to put on their scoring boots and their defence have not looked as good as it normally does under Diego Simeone.
Liverpool's biggest strength this time around has been their grit which has seen them win a lot of matches by a single goal. Jurgen Klopp's men have also managed to find goals from all around the park with a rock-solid defence. Virgil Van Dijk has continued on his superb form and Alisson Becker has also found his feet again after some below-par performances following his injury.
Liverpool's front three consisting of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is fabulously fearsome. But the biggest threat from the Merseyside club will be coming from their full-backs, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Their attacking prowess has caused almost every opponent a problem, and it will be no different against Atletico.
Atletico will hope to take the home advantage before facing Liverpool at the intimidating Anfield. But, they will sweat upon the fitness of their most expensive signing Joao Felix. The Portuguese attacker is in the squad, but not declared match fit yet.
PSG to face the Yellow Wall
PSG are in a spot of bother ahead of their round of 16 clash against Borussia Dortmund as there is doubt over the fitness of their talisman Neymar Jr. Thomas Tuchel has included the Brazilian star in the 21-man squad, but clouds still hover around.
Dortmund are surely flying in delight over their new signing Erling Braut Håland as the Norwegian striker has scored nine goals in six matches after joining them, with a goal every 38 minutes.
Despite Håland's brilliant form, Borussia might rue their skipper Marco Reus' injury, who will be out till the first week of March. But Borussia have potent attacking options in Jadon Sancho, Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard.
Talking of attacking options, PSG also have that in plenty in Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria.
With two teams with such attacking potential and a seemingly leaky defence, the tie is set to be exciting and full of goals as PSG will try to go forward in their conquest to win the Champions League.
The tie is set to be an emotional return for Thomas Tuchel to the Signal Iduna Park as the German manager managed Borussia for two seasons.