Liverpool will hope the return of the UEFA Champions League will offer a welcome distraction from their domestic struggles when they face RB Leipzig in the first leg of their last-16 encounter.
Coronavirus restrictions mean Tuesday’s clash will be played at the Puskás Aréna in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, with no visitors from the United Kingdom permitted to enter Germany until February 17. Liverpool are still scheduled to host the return leg at Anfield on March 10, though they hope to do with an aggregate advantage already running in their favor.
What TV Channel is RB Leipzig-Liverpool on?
The venue may have changed, but the objective remains the same for both teams when Leipzig face Liverpool on Tuesday, with Galavision broadcasting the first-leg fixture from 3 p.m. ET. You can live stream Champions League matches on fuboTV.
How to Watch RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool
When: Tuesday, February 16
Where: Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
The Reds have lost their last three games in a row and are all but certain to relinquish their Premier League crown, while Leipzig are still in with a shot of wrestling the Bundesliga throne from Bayern Munich.
A 3-1 comeback loss at Leicester City on Saturday has left Jürgen Klopp’s men on the brink of England’s top four, clambering to rediscover the form that made them look unbeatable not long ago:
Liverpool finished first in Group D and even secured qualification early after they beat Atalanta and Ajax on their travels. The club’s last three wins, dating back to December 19, each came away from home, offering some comfort for Klopp & Co. as they set off for Budapest.
While the Merseysiders have been scrambling for consistency, Julian Nagelsmann has Leipzig purring nicely after securing four successive wins ahead of their European return. Manchester United’s capitulation in Group H gave the impression Leipzig were somewhat lucky to advance, but Nagelsmann remained calm regarding his side’s chances despite surrendering home advantage:
Ozan Kabak showed room for improvement making his Liverpool debut in that defeat to Leicester. It's uncertain whether Klopp will feel confident enough to retain the 20-year-old in central defense. January signing Kabak was absent through suspension when former club Schalke lost 4-0 at Leipzig in October, but he boasts familiarity in this fixture having faced Die Roten Bullen three times before (one win, two losses).
Naby Keita could contend for a spot to face his former club after missing Liverpool’s last 12 games due to an ankle injury. He could help replenish a midfield that looks likely to be without Fabinho and James Milner, both of whom missed Monday’s training session, per The Athletic’s James Pearce:
Tuesday’s matchup will be a bittersweet one for Leipzig goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi, who spent six years on the books at Liverpool without ever making a senior competitive appearance for the club. The Hungarian will now face his former employers at the venue where his national team resides, hoping to celebrate a unique set of circumstances in victorious fashion.
Ibrahima Konate made just his eighth appearance of the season as a substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Augsburg, but a first start since December 16 could beckon in midweek. This will be Dayot Upamecano’s first outing since Bayern Munich confirmed their signing of the French defender, though Konate has been touted by many as perhaps Leipzig’s best defender.
The ‘hosts’ just about squeezed into the last 16 as runners-up in their pool, but it’s Klopp who’s under pressure to prove he can overcome an extensive injury list to keep alive what could be Liverpool’s last chance at silverware this season.