Liverpool vs RB Leipzig Preview - Budapest again for faltering Reds as they look to progress in Champions League

Liverpool vs RB Leipzig Preview - Budapest again for faltering Reds as they look to progress in Champions League

THE DETAILS

 Champions League

Venue – Puskás Aréna, Budapest, Hungary

Referee – Clément Turpin (FRA)

Date & Time – Wednesday, March 10th 2021 @ 20:00

Current Odds – Liverpool 13/10, Draw 13/5, RB Leipzig 19/10

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It’s a strange day indeed when you are thankful that a ‘home’ fixture in European competition must be played at a neutral venue. The COVID-enforced changes to the location of this game should benefit Liverpool as any glimmer of an acceptable performance level from The Reds has come away from Anfield so far this year.

Let’s kick on and make the quarter-final stage of the Champions League now. There’s nothing left to lose this season.

FORM

Liverpool Form

Liverpool’s current form, unfortunately, is the talk of the footballing world. It’s no secret that Jürgen Klopp’s squad has been decimated by injuries this season, yet, there seems to be something else going on behind the scenes at the moment. How else can you explain six consecutive home defeats in the Premier League?

On Sunday, a much-changed Liverpool lineup lost 1-0 at home to Fulham. It was the sixth consecutive home league defeat. It’s the worst run at Anfield in the club’s history.

Liverpool have fared better away from home this year so far. That’s why the relocation of this fixture may be a blessing in disguise for The Reds.

RB Leipzig Form

RB Leipzig have won 8 of their last 9 fixures in all competitions. Their only loss in that time was the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the first leg of this Champions League meeting. The Bundesliga club has won four consecutive games since that night.

At the weekend, RB Leipzig won 3-0 away to SC Freiburg thanks to goals from Christopher Nkunku, Alexander Sørloth, and Emil Forsberg.

Julian Nagelsmann’s men are just two points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race and 8 points clear of third-placed VFL Wolfsburg.

TEAM NEWS

Liverpool Team News

Liverpool are without Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joël Matip.

Caoimhin Kelleher, Ozan Kabak, and Roberto Firmino are also carrying knocks that may keep them out of this one.

Jurgen Klopp rotated The Reds’ starting eleven against Fulham on Sunday so I expect to see Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum, Thiago, Curtis Jones, and Sadio Mané all return against RB Leipzig.

With Firmino possibly still injured, Salah could play through the middle of the front three with Mané and Diogo Jota on the flanks.

RB Leipzig Team News

RB Leipzig are without Dominik Szoboszlai and Konrad Laimer while Angeliño will face a late fitness test to see if he can play on Wednesday.

Willi Orbán is also listed as a doubt for the game.

Julian Nagelsmann will most likely stick with the 3-1-4-2 formation we saw from RB Leipzig in the first leg.

One possible change to the starting eleven could be Alexander Sørloth starting up front instead of Yussuf Poulsen.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Jones; Jota, Salah, Mané

RB Leipzig XI (3-1-4-2) – Gulácsi; Mukiele, Upamecano, Klostermann; Kampl; Adams, Sabitzer, Olmo, Angeliño; Sørloth, Nkunku

WHEN THEY LAST MET

Liverpool won the first leg 2-0 at the same ground back in February. The goals that night came from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané. That was the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.

PREDICTION

LIVERPOOL 1 – 1 RB LEIPZIG

Liverpool should do enough on Wednesday to make it through to the quarter-final of the Champions League. The Reds looked like a different team in the first leg in February in comparison to the Premier League performances they have been putting in lately. Let’s hope they up their game again for this one as going out of this competition now would be very, very bad news indeed.