Last year’s semi-finalists RB Leipzig will have thought they’d drawn the short straw when this tie was announced in December, but the German outfit may see things differently now as they bring a four-game winning run into this clash against a faltering Liverpool side.
They’ll look to add to their opponents’ woes by starting well, and scored twice before HT in their last two UEFA Champions League (UCL) matches.
What isn’t in their favour is that this ‘home leg’ is being held in neutral Budapest, although Leipzig’s UCL record when facing English opposition is promising (W3, L1), as is the fact they led at HT in two of those three wins – something they managed in their previous three competitive games too.
Jürgen Klopp’s 300th game in charge of Liverpool saw them fall to a 3-1 defeat at Leicester despite his side taking the lead, a result that made it three Premier League losses in a row – the first time Liverpool have done that since November 2014. However, they have a handy record against German opposition in Europe, unbeaten in ten games following a defeat to Leverkusen back in 2002 (W7, D3).
Their record against German sides at neutral venues is a little less strong (W2, D1, L1), but with Liverpool’s last four competitive matches featuring a goalless first half, and the fact their previous four wins all came away from home and by a 2+ goal margin, they clearly have a solid foundation to build upon as they look to improve that record.
Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku scored shortly before HT last time out – four of his five competitive strikes this term came between the 40th-55th minute. Mohamed Salah has a favourite time period too – he’s scored four goals between the 55th-70th minute across Liverpool’s last four games.
Hot streak: Liverpool haven’t conceded before the 55th minute in seven straight UCL fixtures.