Liverpool face RB Leipzig in Budapest
Liverpool are playing RB Leipzig in the Champions League last 16.
The Reds, winners of the competition two years ago, take on last year’s semi-finalists in the first knockout round of this year’s tournament.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are in the middle of a poor run of form and now sit 13 points adrift of leaders Manchester City in sixth place in defence of their Premier League title.
They now turn their focus to Europe and a Bundesliga side led by Julian Nagelsmann, who was labelled an “extraordinary talent” by countryman Klopp.
When confronted with former Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick’s assertion that the tie is a 50-50, Klopp added: “I am quite happy with that. If we go full throttle then I think 65 per cent likelihood of winning might be appropriate.
“Leipzig as an underdog I don’t know. They go full throttle as well. This is a knockout stage so someone has to be knocked out literally and we will do everything that we will not be the ones and we will continue.
“A 50 per cent chance is absolutely sufficient for me.”
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The match takes place in Budapest, rather than Leipzig tonight.
Why is RB Leipzig vs Liverpool in Budapest?
The tie has had to be switched to a neutral venue after the German government banned all arrivals from countries affected by new coronavirus variants.
That ban lasts until 17 February, the day after Liverpool were due in Leipzig, and an application for special permission for them to travel was denied.
A statement said: “UEFA can confirm that the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC will now take place at Puskas Arena in Budapest.
“The date of the match and kick-off time (21:00CET) will remain the same.
“UEFA would like to thank RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC for their close cooperation and assistance in finding a solution to the issue at hand, as well as the Hungarian Football Federation for their support and agreeing to host the match in question.”
Where is the second leg?
The second leg is slated to take place at Anfield on 10 March.
However, given the changeable nature of government policy both in the UK and in Germany that could be changed between now and the fixture.
Have any other games been moved?
Yes. The first-leg of Manchester City’s tie with Borussia Monchengladbach will also take place in Hungary while Chelsea’s trip to Atletico Madrid next week has been switched from Spain to Bucharest in Romania.
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