After Germany announced that Liverpool will not be allowed to travel to the country because of COVID-19 travel restrictions on the UK, RB Leipzig was forced to look for a neutral, alternate venue to host the first leg of the UEFA Champions League tie against Premier League giants Liverpool.
In follow up to our previous post regarding the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie between RB Leipzig and Liverpool, the UEFA has provided a fresh update that will see the game being played on 16th February as scheduled but not at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig.
UEFA confirmed that the match will be played in Budapest at the Puskas Arena on 16th February. The Hungarian Football Federation played an important role in assisting the UEFA, Liverpool and Leipzig in getting the alternate venue confirmed for the game set to take play in a week’s time.
Liverpool is going through a very rough patch and has lost 3 consecutive home games in the Premier League after going 68 games unbeaten at Anfield! A humiliating 4-1 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City means Jurgen Klopp has his hands full in trying to figure out a way to get back to winning ways.
The injuries in the Premeir League champions defence has led to a major downfall of the side since they play the gegen-press, which needs defenders to be solid and compact high up the pitch to not get caught out on the counter. It has failed them recently and Klopp will have to think about ways to switch up the style of play.
Manchester City sit 5 points clear at the top of the Premier League with 1 game in hand to 2nd placed Manchester United who threw the win against Everton in the dying moments of the game to only manage a 3-3 draw. United deserved the win but some foolish play throughout the game cost them the 3 points to stay within reach of neighbours, City.
Liverpool has now dropped to 4th place, 10 points behind City who have a game in hand so if City win that game in hand then the defending champions will find themselves languishing 13 points behind in the title race. Jurgen Klopp has already openly said that the team’s focus is qualifying for next season’s Champions League and has seemingly given up on retaining the Premier League title with 15 games to go.
RB Leipzig on the other hand, sit pretty in 2nd position, 7 points adrift of leaders and champions Bayern Munich with 14 games to go. Julian Nagelsmann’s side were fortunate to make it through a tough group that featured PSG who they played in the semifinals of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United, after United blew every opportunity they had to secure a place in the knockouts after the first leg wins against Leipzig and Paris.
Leipzig will fancy their chances against this Liverpool side and if they can dominate like they did in the group stages against Manchester United then the Merseysiders will be in for a torrid second leg. Liverpool may still open as favourites so if we were betting on this then we would definitely put our money on Nagelsmann’s side.