Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold holds the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020.
Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold holds the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020.|Jon Super | Associated Press
Soccer

Liverpool continues its UEFA Champions League title defense Tuesday — Atlético Madrid vs Liverpool — where is the smart money going?

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

Jurgen Klopp will walk back into the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid with thoughts of last season.

Liverpool beat Tottenham last June to lift the European Cup, and the Reds will start their defense in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 Tuesday right back at that stadium.

Atlético Madrid has struggled at times this season in La Liga, while Liverpool has yet to lose in the Premier League this season. But Diego Simeone's side has always relished its chances in European play, making two finals (2014, 2016) and a semifinal (2017) in the Champions League, which all ended with losses to Real Madrid.

Atléti has also won three Europa League titles in the last decade-plus (2010, 2012, 2018). There seems to be a pattern of runs in even years.

Liverpool is the current betting favorite (+400) to lift the title, and a huge favorite in this tie. Tuesday will be the key. If the Reds can get a result in Madrid, the tie will be over; but if Atlético Madrid can somehow pull off a win, the return leg in three weeks could be very interesting.

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UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF 16

Atlético Madrid (+250) vs. Liverpool (+114), draw (+225), 3 p.m. EST (TNT, TUDN, and Fubo.tv)

THE PICK: Liverpool ML (+114)

BONUS LONG SHOT PICK: Sadio Mane to score (+230)

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