Liverpool are still juggling a swathe of injury problems as they take on RB Leipzig in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie this evening.
James Milner is the latest senior figure on the sidelines, suffering what appeared to be a hamstring injury during Liverpool’s disastrous collapse against Leicester last weekend. That result meant the Reds have now lost their last three league games, with Jurgen Klopp admitting that their title defence is all but over. “I don’t think we can close the gap this year, to be honest. We have to win football games, and a large part of our game today was very good,” he said.
Klopp’s side still finished top of Group D, though, despite losing several senior players, winning four of their six games. But RB Leipzig will provide a sterner test, having reached the semi-finals of last year’s competition while currently sitting second in the Bundesliga.
“We are in a good flow. We have won the last four matches while Liverpool have not won five out of their last seven,” Nagelsmann said at his pre-match press conference. “They are the slight favourites based on their international experience but we have shown that we can hold our own against such teams, both last year and this season with a very tough group stage. We have clearly developed as a team.”
Here is everything you need to know:
When is it and what time is kick-off?
The match will begin at 8pm at the Puskas Arena in Hungary, where it is being played due to international travel restrictions.
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How can I watch it online and on TV?
The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport 2 with coverage set to begin at 7pm. BT Sport subscribers can view the game online via the BT Sport App.
What is the team news?
James Milner is expected to miss out after suffering a hamstring injury. New centre-back Ben Davies is recovering from a knock while the game also comes too soon for Naby Keita. Fabinho is a doubt after missing the defeat against Leicester while Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Diogo Jota remain long-term absentees.
Leipzig rested several of their key players at the weekend, with Marcel Sabitzer, Dayot Upamecano and Alexander Sorloth expected to return to the starting line-ups. Emil Forsberg, Konrad Laimer, Benjamin Henrichs and Dominik Szoboszlai are unlikely to feature.
What are the predicted line-ups?
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi; Mukiele, Upamecano, Klostermann; Adams, Sabiter, Kampl, Olmo, Angelino; Poulsen, Nkunku
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane
What are the odds?
RB Leipzig – 19/10
Draw – 13/5
Liverpool – 13/10
Liverpool appear to be suffering from a crisis of confidence and come into this fixture still laboured by a swathe of injury problems. With their backs against the wall, the occasion should bring out a response from Klopp’s players, though. Leipzig are a brilliantly organised side and will prove tricky to break down meaning it may be hard to split the pair on a night of tactical battles. RB Leipzig 1-1 Liverpool
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