Liverpool ‘host’ RB Leipzig in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday night in the UEFA Champions League. Jurgen Klopp’s team are in disastrous form at home but take a 2-0 first leg lead in this tie. With Liverpool eight games without a win at Anfield, RB Leipzig may arrive with the belief that this tie around considering their excellent domestic form.
With just five wins in their last 17 matches, Liverpool are in awful form. At Anfield, they have lost six matches in a row and are eight matches without victory. That run has seen just two goals scored.
Klopp’s team have lost nine of their last 15 matches and look outside bets to make the top four in the Premier League. Their only wins in their last nine matches (seven defeats) were 2-0 at RB Leipzig in the first leg and 2-0 away to bottom-placed Sheffield United.
Liverpool’s last two matches saw 1-0 home defeats to Chelsea and Fulham.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool’s injury crisis shows no signs of getting better. Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Virgil Van Dijk and Jordan Henderson are out long-term, Roberto Firmino missed the Fulham game due to a knock and so did centre back Ozan Kabak. If the latter is out, then Nat Phillips will start again in defence.
Klopp rotated his side heavily against Fulham and will have Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho fresh to return for this match in midfield and centre back respectively. If Firmino is out, then Salah will lead the line with Diego Jota and Sadio Mane in wide areas. Trent Alexander-Arnold (and Sadio Mane) were only used as substitutes against Fulham so are also fresh to return to the starting XI for this match.
Liverpool are a disaster right now at home. They have a 2-0 lead so can afford to play quite conservatively to protect their very vulnerable defensive line. If Salah plays up front, it could be a blessing to allow Klopp’s team to carry real threat on the counter attack.
Liverpool will play to win this match but would be very happy to draw and to progress. A defeat and progression would be a big disappointment but they could conceivably trail 1-0 in the second half and shut up shop to take the aggregate victory.
RB Leipzig Form
Having been semi-finalists in last season’s competition and sitting just two points off Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, Leipzig are a fine team and are on a very good run of form. Since losing to Mainz in January, Julian Nagelsmann’s team have won six consecutive Bundesliga matches with four clean sheets in that streak.
Leipzig have also made it to the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal. Their most recent results have seen a 3-2 win after being 2-0 down at home to Borussia Monchengladbach before a 2-0 win against Wolfsburg in the cup and a 3-0 win at Freiburg in their last match.
RB Leipzig Team News
Leipzig have several injury concerns ahead of this match. Angelino has missed the last three matches and the Spanish wingback is a doubt for this match. At centre back, Ibrahima Konate continues to play only a few minutes in each match after his long term injury. Willi Orban should be back after injury to boost options at centre back.
Club captain Marcel Sabitzer has been carrying a knock but is set to return to training ahead of this game but may not be risked from the start. The big question is whether his two goals in three matches has earned Alexander Sorloth a start up front alongside Yussuf Poulsen.
RB Leipzig Motivation
Nagelsmann has said that the Bundesliga is his top priority with his side just two points of Bayern Munich. That may mean that he isn’t going to risk players who have knocks. Leipzig will attack and try to win the tie around but realistically, that will be an uphill task. If Leipzig concede a goal, they will need to score four times so they can’t be too open in the early stages of his match.
RB Leipzig have won 8 of their last 9 matches
Leipzig have won 4 of their last 7 away CL matches
Liverpool have lost 6 and drawn 2 of their last 8 home PL matches
Liverpool have failed to score in 6 of their last 7 home PL matches
Liverpool have won 2 of their last 5 home CL matches
The Reds have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 5 home CL matches (*excludes extra time)
Liverpool look likely to progress in this tie as one goal will make it an uphill battle for their opponents. However, Leipzig have the quality to draw or maybe win this match even if they are eliminated. A score draw could be an attractive value bet.