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‘Champions League over unbeaten title for Liverpool’ – Owen expects Reds to seek more silverware

Jurgen Klopp’s side could still end the Premier League season without suffering a defeat, but their former striker sees Europe as more of a priority

Liverpool will be favouring back-to-back Champions League wins over an unbeaten Premier League title triumph, claims Michael Owen.

The Reds remain in contention to complete a double on domestic and European fronts this season.

An ongoing bid to defend their continental crown suffered a blow on Tuesday as they slipped to a rare defeat against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 encounter.

Jurgen Klopp’s side only have a one-goal deficit to overturn and remain confident of progressing to the quarter-finals.

Owen believes more eggs will be placed in a Champions League basket by Liverpool, as they are almost guaranteed to end a 30-year wait for title glory on home soil.

The opportunity to emulate Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ is still there for the Reds, who have dropped just two points through 26 games so far, but Owen sees that as less of a priority.

The former Liverpool striker told BBC Radio 5 Live: “There’s no question about it that the Premier League was the be all and end all for virtually every Liverpool fan before the season started.

“The Champions League has been conquered a couple of times in the last decade or so, so it was all about the Premier League.

“If you tucked away the Premier League in their pockets and said: ‘Do you want to go unbeaten or win the Champions League?’ I’d say Champions League, definitely. Win the double.

“It would be a huge achievement, but the chance to win both – assuming that the Premier League is already tucked in – then get another trophy.”

Owen believes that Liverpool can overcome Atletico when a keenly-contested two-legged encounter heads to Anfield for a decisive showdown on March 11.

He added: “I think they are definitely favourites.

“It’s tilted it slightly. Atletico did exactly what they always do. They haven’t had the best of seasons but if ever there was a team that represents their manager and what he wants, it’s that team.

“I just think that Liverpool, the Anfield factor, it still leaves them as favourites. They just have to be careful a little bit.

“Jurgen Klopp, Andy Robertson, there was plenty of needle during that game. Klopp brought one of his best players off in Sadio Mane at half-time because he was scared of players diving around and him getting sent off.

“So, there is plenty of needle after that first leg. As long as Liverpool keep their heads, no red cards, I still see them going through.”

Before attention switches back to Atletico for the Reds, Klopp’s side have Premier League meetings with West Ham, Watford and Bournemouth to take in, along with an FA Cup fifth round clash with Chelsea.

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