Tag Archives: Bundesliga

RB Salzburg vs Bayern Munich – Champions League Last 16 predictions

The Champions League last 16 fixtures are finally upon us after a two month break since the group stages.

One of the ties kicking off this week will see Austrian outfit RB Salzburg take on 2020 winners and German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

Lets take a look at the tie in more detail and make our predictions to see who will progress into the last eight of Europe’s most prestigious cup competition.



Route to the last 16

Salzburg made it through to the knockout stages after making sure they took their opportunity to progress through the weakest group we’ve seen in a long time.

With three wins and one draw from their six group games, Salzburg found themselves finishing ahead of top seeds Sevilla and behind only Lille by one solitary point.

Bayern Munich made routine work of their group which included both Barcelona and Benfica too, winning six out of six games and conceding just three goals in the process.

They scored a competition high 22 goals in those games and have been marked as one of the favourites to win the whole thing again under Julien Nagelsmann.

Team news

The Austrian outfit will be without six regular first-teamers through injury for the game and that’s a huge blow to them.

Brenden Aaronson and Karim Adeyemi are the star attackers in the team and both are fit and expected to start, and they’re arguably coming up against Bayern at the perfect time.

The Germans are without Manuel Neuer, Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka for the game and are coming off the back of a 4-2 thumping by Bochum at the weekend.

That means Theo Hernandez will likely keep his place at left-back, while Sven Ulreich will start in goal. Frenchman Corentin Tolisso should start in midfield alongside Joshua Kimmich, after Nagelsmann’s failed experiment of using a lone holding midfielder.

Karim Adeyemi of FC Salzburg reacts during the UEFA Champions League group G match between VfL Wolfsburg and RB Salzburg at Volkswagen Arena on...

Breakdown and Prediction

Salzburg usually use a 4-3-1-2 formation with a very narrow midfield and pace up front to try and cause damage to the opposition defence on the counter attack.

When they come up against Bayern Munich though, they will need to be at their absolute best and more to get something over two legs.

Bayern better them in quality all over the park and even without some first-choice players, they have more depth on their bench to choose from as well.

Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Muenchen celebrates during the UEFA Champions League group E football match between SL Benfica and FC Bayern Muenchen at...

Salzburg will give it a good try for sure and without Neuer between the sticks they might be able to snatch a goal, but I’d seriously consider finding a betting market that offers you odds on Robert Lewandowski to outscore Salzburg across the tie because it’s probably going to come in.

RB Salzburg 1-3 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich 4-0 RB Salzburg
(Bayern Munich to qualify 7-1 on aggregate)

Julien Nagelsmann agrees to take charge at Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich’s chase for a new manager for next season is complete as they have agreed terms with Julien Nagelsmann to take over.

The Bundesliga champions officially announced the deal on Tuesday morning, after current boss Hansi Flick confirmed in a recent press conference that he wanted to leave the club at the end of the season – with many believing he will take the role of German national team coach after Euro 2020.

Bayern were interested in bringing Nagelsmann to the club as a replacement and it now they have got their man ahead of the end of the season.

According to BILD, the Bavarian giants have agreed a deal that will see Nagelsmann become their next manager after he led RB Leipzig to a second placed finish in the Bundesliga. They have agreed a compensation package with Leipzig, with a fee of around €25million agreed upon including bonuses.

Nagelsmann has been highly rated for a long time, taking over as Hoffenheim coach as a 28-year-old and guiding them to safety before a fourth-placed finish in his first full season with the team.

In June 2019 he took over at RB Leipzig at the end of his Hoffenheim contract and led them to a Champions League semi-final in his first season, before a last 16 exit this season to Liverpool. This season he has led them to currently sit in second place in the Bundesliga table behind Bayern Munich, seven points behind top spot with just three games to play.

His attacking style of football, taste in player and attitude towards young players have seen him attract the attention of some of the top teams in the world in the past but he has turned them down in order to continue his own development.

It was reported that he turned down a move to Real Madrid after Zinedine Zidane left the first time around, while Tottenham Hotspur were said to have made him their top target to replace Jose Mourinho this summer too.

Bayern’s stranglehold on Germany continues into next season now, as they look set to win their ninth successive Bundesliga title this season.

They have developed a reputation for poaching their rivals’ biggest assets with the likes of Manuel Neuer, Leon Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich, Nicklas Sule, Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry all part of their current squad signed from rivals while the likes of Mario Gotze have also made the move in the past.

RB Leipzig v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg : News Photo

RB Leipzig central defender Dayot Upamecano has already agreed to join the club this summer in a deal announced earlier this year and they have now snapped up his current manager too.

Nagelsmann is one of the best young coaches in the world and Bayern are undoubtedly making the best appointment for their club, but it’s a real shame to see the monopoly they have on their domestic league.

Any time a team becomes a credible threat, they get picked apart with Bayern at the head of the queue and the challenge fades away as they become even stronger. It’s a shame for the neutral who’d like to see them challenged, but you can’t blame them when there are obvious upgrades that are seen as easy pickings for them.

For Nagelsmann, it’s a chance for him to now step up to the biggest stage and continue the fine work he has done throughout his career up to this point.

What’s happening between Hansi Flick and Bayern Munich?

It’s not often that we say it, but Bayern Munich might be having a bit of an internal crisis right now.

After crashing out of the UEFA Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals, it emerged over the weekend that manager Hansi Flick has informed the club that he wants to leave in the summer.

After winning everything there is to win in his season-and-a-half in charge of the club, you could maybe understand if he just wanted a new challenge but it seems there is something more to the situation.

Despite beating PSG in Paris their European Cup defence came to an end but they bounced back at the weekend with a 3-2 win over Wolfsburg. What nobody saw coming was in the press conference after the game when Flick confirmed to the press that he wanted to leave the club at the end of the season.

It had been rumoured that Flick was the number one target for the German national team after it was announced that Joachim Löw will leave his role after the completion of the Euro 2020 tournament this summer.

While he has admitted that the national team role is of interest to him, it isn’t the reason he wants to leave the Bundesliga champions.

According to reports in Germany, there is an internal struggle happening in Bavaria. It is well known that the club is run in such a way that the manager of the club is responsible only for the coaching of the football team.

The board and executives run the club off the pitch and former midfielder Hasan Salihamidzic is the man in charge of things like transfers. That is the start of issues.

Flick and Salihamidzic have been at loggerheads of the future of the playing squad, with the Bosnian confirming that Jerome Boateng would not be offered a new contract for the new season regardless of his performances in the run-in.

What made it worse was the fact that he was informed of the decision on the morning of the first-leg against Paris Saint-Germain. Add to that the fact the club have refused to agree a new deal with David Alaba, forcing the Austrian to confirm his exit from the club in advance on a free transfer.

FC Bayern Muenchen - Training Session : News Photo

Bayern have since commented on Flick’s announcement only to discount it, stating that they will continue to hold talks with the manager up to and at the end of the season to discuss the future. While it’s highly unlikely that anything will change, this is just Bayern’s way of controlling the narrative.

Reports suggest they have already begun the search for a new manager, with Julian Nagelsmann top of their shortlist. While it will be incredibly difficult to take the highly rated boss away from Leipzig, the Bundesliga is essentially Bayern Munich’s playground and they can pretty much do what they want.

If for some reason that doesn’t happen, they have plenty of options elsewhere. Flick was brought up from their coaching staff, while top names like Max Allegri and Jose Mourinho are also available immediately.

Bayern are a superbly run club, everyone knows that. But now their internal power struggle is going to cost them a supremely talented coach and potentially effect who they bring in to replace him.

Paris Saint-Germain avenge Champions League final loss thanks to Neymar monsterclass

Paris Saint-Germain avenged their 2020 Champions League final defeat by beating Bayern Munich on away goals to progress into the semi-finals, thanks in part to a brilliant Neymar performance.

PSG held a 3-2 lead from the first leg, where Kylian Mbappe put Bayern to the sword with a brace to give the French giants three away goals. Those proved crucial as despite a 1-0 defeat on the night, the Parisians progressed 3-3 on aggregate thanks to those away goals.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s header in the first half sent shivers up French fans backs, but they were dangerous throughout and in the end were able to hold out for a big win.

The game started as a more cagey affair than the first leg, but PSG continued to be a threat on the counter in a similar manner against the Bundesliga side’s high line.

Mbappe threatened in behind on occasion but was called offside, but everything that Mauricio Pochettino’s side did went through the enigmatic Brazilian. It was his passing that opened up the Bayern defence and the only thing that let him down on the night was his finishing.

He hit the crossbar with a beautiful curling effort from the edge of the box after losing Kingsley Coman with a chop, and then hit the post when put through one on one after a brilliant move. He also saw a previous effort saved by Manuel Neuer after being rolled a square pass by Mbappe, he was instrumental.

In the second half he used his experience and know how to slow the game right down. He was being fouled regularly and just took the bumps, constantly asking for the ball with his back to goal knowing he’d get a kick from behind.

A few dazzling runs resulted in chances and one ended in a pass to Mbappe, who crossed for Angel Di Maria. The Argentine brought the ball down and beat the defender with skill before rolling the ball across the goal, but Neymar slid in and just couldn’t reach meaning Bayern survived again.

But aside from anything inside the 18-yard box, Neymar showed that right now he is the best player on the planet bar none.

PSG seemed to have a chip on their shoulder in this game after the final last year and the team now look like they’re ready to go one step further this year and actually win the tournament.

They’ve shown an ability to dig deep when they need to to grind out a result defensively, but they also have the exceptional quality in attack to trouble any defence in world football.

A semi-final now awaits against the winner of the Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund tie, but whoever gets through will know that they have a true European heavyweight in their way that go by the name of Paris Saint-Germain.

Bayern Munich vs Paris Saint-Germain – Champions League quarter-final predictions

The UEFA Champions League is back with some absolutely mouth watering ties as we enter the quarter-final stage of the competition.

In a rematch of last seasons final, Bundesliga champions and current holders Bayern Munich will take on Ligue 1’s Paris Saint-Germain in arguably the most star-studded clash of the round.

Hansi Flick’s men cruised the the most comfortable last 16 tie there was, with wins both home and away against Serie A side Lazio to waltz to a 6-2 aggregate win, while Paris Saint-Germain were able to smash through Barcelona at the Camp Nou meaning the draw at the Parc des Princes wasn’t a downer with a 5-2 progression on aggregate.

In the Bundesliga, Bayern are on the verge of securing a ninth successive league title as they currently sit seven points clear at the top with just seven games to play. Paris Saint-Germain on the other hand look like they could miss out on a fourth successive title and an eighth in nine years after flailing under both Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino this season.

With seven games to go, PSG currently sit three points behind Lille having been defeated by their rivals in the most recent game at the weekend. They have lost eight league games so far this season, the most since the 2010/11 season and as many as each of the last two seasons combined.

One positive for Pochettino’s side is that even despite their poor league form, they have looked fantastic in Europe. After a shaky start in the group stages they were able to come through as the winners of the group of death ahead of RB Leipzig and Manchester United.

Under Pochettino they have attempted to play a possession based game, with good pressing and incisive attacking patterns to help Kylian Mbappe and Neymar thrive. The Brazilian missed both games against Barcelona but is fit once again, although he was sent off at the weekend.

Bayern have maintained their excellent form from last season and overcame their first blip under Flick earlier in the season to get back on track. Their high press, high line in defence and dominance in midfield allows them to control every game they’re in and their lethal attack led by Robert Lewandowski means they punish any mistakes.

The issue for them in this tie comes from the fact that they will be without the legendary Polish striker after he picked up a knee injury on international duty. That means the likelihood is that Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will lead the line up front as he did this past weekend, although Thomas Muller could also start as the furthest man forward.

Serge Gnabry is a doubt for the first leg after missing training but PSG are also struggling with injuries. Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi have both tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the games, while Leandro Paredes is suspended for the first leg.

Both teams are weakened but PSG will feel as though they have a great chance of exacting their revenge with their first choice attack on the pitch. The one-legged final last year was a very close game in which PSG missed a host of chances before former academy star Kingsley Coman was able to head in the winner in the second half.

With Bayern not look as solid defensively this season and the game being played over two legs rather than one, it seems unlikely Flick’s team will be able to stop PSG from scoring yet again. Without Lewandowski in the team, the German side’s chances of scoring goals diminish hugely despite the quality they possess and if Mbappe and Neymar are fit and raring to go then this could be enough to see the Parisians come through with a win.

It’s quite easily the most closely contested tie of the round and I think PSG will be able to earn some revenge this year.


PREDICTION

Bayern Munich 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Bayern Munich
(Paris Saint-Germain to progress 3-1 on aggregate)

Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund – Champions League quarter-final predictions

The UEFA Champions League is back with some absolutely mouth watering ties as we enter the quarter-final stage of the competition.

Two of the most exciting, attacking teams left in the competition will meet as Manchester City take on the Bundesliga’s Borussia Dortmund in the last eight knowing that they have a tough route to the final even if they’re able to progress through this round.

Pep Guardiola’s side were able to come through a reasonably comfortable encounter with Borussia Moenchengladbach, winning both home and away to come away with a routine 4-0 aggregate victory. Dortmund on the other hand were involved in one of the more entertaining fixtures of the last round, winning 3-2 at the Ramon Sanchez Pijuan before fumbling a 2-0 lead in their home leg to draw 2-2 on the night and progress 5-4 on aggregate.

In the Premier League, City look set to win their third league title in just four seasons after defeating Leicester City this past weekend. They now need just 11 points in the remaining eight games of the season to mathematically seal the title as they chase an unprecedented quadruple this season.

Dortmund on the other hand are struggling domestically, currently sitting seven points off the Champions League places after yet another defeat this past weekend to Eintracht Frankfurt.

It’s unlikely to get any easier for them now too, with Jadon Sancho likely to miss the first leg through injury and an away leg at the Etihad Stadium to come before their home tie. City have shown a fantastic defensive ability this season to shut their opponents out of games, keeping 28 clean sheets in all competitions this season including Ederson with 17 in the Premier League – no goalkeeper has kept more than the Brazilian.

Add to that that Guardiola’s side is also the highest scoring side in the Premier League, it’s a recipe for disaster for the German side. Edin Terzic is the man in charge following the dismissal of Lucien Favre earlier this year but he has been unable to really steady the ship. They have maintained their attacking impetus though, with Erling Haaland in particular shining as the top scorer in this season’s Champions League competition and behind only Andre Silva and Robert Lewandowski in the race for the Bundesliga golden boot.

City’s style of play has changed in a big way this season, with them not focusing so much on battering teams and more on control. They’re still possession heavy, as any Guardiola team is, but without a central number nine as their primary goalscorer they’ve seen more rotation and interchanging of positions and been able to share the load more.

Dortmund’s style is also similar to their traditions, with transitions a huge part of their attacking style. City are the masters of stopping the transitions in their tracks with the way they keep the ball and set up to stop counter attacks, and without being able to transition BVB will be in big trouble.

Defensively, Dortmund have struggled to keep teams quiet this season conceding 39 goals in the Bundesliga – more than anyone else in the top half of their league. Against City they’re going to be under the collar throughout, and stylistically there couldn’t be a worse team for them to come up against.

While you can never count Haaland out of being on the scoresheet or Dortmund from creating chances but I’m more than confident in my belief that City will put them to the sword and come away comfortable winners.


PREDICTIONS

Manchester City 3-1 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Manchester City
(Manchester City to progress 5-1 on aggregate)

Champions League last 16 predictions: Gladbach vs Manchester City

It’s Champions League time once again as the last 16 is back and the second round of fixtures commences.

Last week we saw the first eight teams compete, with some thrilling fixtures to take us through to the second leg and this week we’ll be hoping for more of the same – as Premier League leaders Manchester City take on Germany’s surprise package Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Pep Guardiola’s side are currently riding a 17 game win streak in all competitions and have pulled away at the top of the Premier League with a ten point lead over Manchester United and Leicester behind them. Gladbach are fighting for a return to Europe’s premier competition next season, with Marco Rose’s side currently in eighth and nine points off the top four.

After plenty of speculation is was confirmed last week that Rose will leave Gladbach at the end of the season to join Borussia Dortmund, but he has promised to fight to leave his current side in the best position possible. They face probably the toughest task in Europe right now though to stop a Manchester City side who are in cruise control and beating everyone that steps in their path.

City have found themselves not only as a free-flowing attacking outfit, but now also one that can hold on to a 1-0 lead and not even think of letting it slip since the addition of Ruben Dias in the summer and the resurgence of John Stones into the starting lineup.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League : News Photo

Ilkay Gundogan has found some incredible goalscoring form since December to lead their scoring charts while Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva all stepped up massively in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian is now back from injury too, as is Sergio Aguero, so Guardiola has a near fully-fit squad to choose from.

As for Gladbach, they have won just twice in their last six in all competitions and look open defensively. Going forward they’ve struggled too, with just 38 goals scored in their 22 fixtures domestically. In the Champions League group stages earlier this season they were a different kettle of fish though, scoring 16 times in their six games to pip Inter Milan to a place in this round.

Marcus Thuram, Alessane Plea and Lars Stindl will lead the line and will all need to be on top form if they are to cause City any sort of problems in the form they are currently in.

Borussia Moenchengladbach v 1. FC Koeln - Bundesliga : News Photo

For City, they’ll be looking to keep it business as usual. They’ve been at their brilliant best over the last few months and it’s probably fair to say they’re the best team in the world right now. Guardiola has managed his squad exceptionally well, to the point where they have scored 83 goals in all competitions so far and Sergio Aguero doesn’t have a single one.

Their lineup currently picks itself for the most part, which says a lot considering the manager’s love for rotation. All in all, it’s hard to see anything but a comfortable win for City over the two legs.

PREDICTIONS:
Gladbach 0-2 Man City
Man City 3-0 Gladbach
(Man City to progress 5-0 on aggregate)

Champions League last 16 predictions: Lazio vs Bayern Munich

It’s Champions League time once again as the last 16 is back and the second round of fixtures commences.

Last week we saw the first eight teams compete, with some thrilling fixtures to take us through to the second leg and this week we’ll be hoping for more of the same as Serie A side Lazio take on current holders Bayern Munich.

Lazio currently sit in fifth in the table, just one point behind third placed Roma and have prepared for this game with four wins in their last six games including a 1-0 win over Sampdoria at the weekend. Bayern on the other hand currently sit top of the Bundesliga and were crowned world champions earlier this month, but have failed to win either of their last two Bundesliga fixtures.

Bayern’s style of play is well documented with a high defensive line, combative and technical holding midfielders and pace in attack behind Robert Lewandowski.

SS Lazio v Brescia Calcio - Serie A : News Photo

Lazio’s style is a little different though, with Simone Inzaghi opting for three at the back and building the entire team around the finishing ability of Ciro Immobile up front. The Italian striker has scored 19 goals so far this season after 39, 19, 41 and 26 in the previous four campaigns also – making him one of the most lethal attackers around.

The midfield of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto has creativity, steel and an eye for goal to it while Lucas Leiva’s inclusion in the holding role makes them tough to break down too.

Bayern have a few fitness problems right now, with Benjamin Pavard and Thomas Muller testing positive for COVID-19 while Douglas Costa, Serge Gnabry and Correntin Tolisso are all injured and out of the first leg. That means Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman are certain to start out wide but the formation could slightly change from their usual 4-2-3-1.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Tigres UANL - FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 : News Photo

Despite the issues they have currently and the form they’re currently struggling in, I can’t see past Bayern Munich dominating the tie and progressing into the next round.

Defensively they’re strong enough to deal with the threat of Lazio and going forward they are still scoring goals freely. They’re still arguably the strongest team in the competition overall when everyone is fit and even if the injuries make the first leg tougher for them, the return leg is at home and they should have enough quality to progress into the last eight.

PREDICTIONS
Lazio 1-2 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich 3-0 Lazio
(Bayern Munich to progress 5-1 on aggregate)

Champions League last 16 predictions – Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund

The Champions League is back and the last 16 has thrown up some really exciting ties to determine who will make it into the quarter-finals.

In one of the more open ended ties pulled out of the hat, the 2020 Europa League winners Sevilla take on the free-flowing attacking German giants Borussia Dortmund.

Sevilla currently sit in fourth place in La Liga, nine points off the top of the table behind Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Julen Lopetegui’s side have established a fantastic style of football, playing fast-paced possession football where domestically they score twice as many goals as they concede.

Dortmund on the other hand have been a hot and cold side this season, which saw them dismiss former boss Lucien Favre back in December. Edin Terzic was placed in charge for the rest of the season and it was recently announced that they will permanently hire Marco Rose at the end of the season after he revealed he’d be activating the break clause in his Borussia Moenchengladbach contract.

Individually the Dortmund side have still got incredible talent, with the likes of Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho finding great form in recent months while Jude Bellingham has settled in well in midfield. There have been injuries throughout the season, especially defensively and their current form has seen them win just twice in their last six games.

It’s almost guaranteed to be a tie that will see both sides attacking and looking to implement their own style on each game to give themselves the best chance of winning.

The Sevilla side is probably better placed to do that, with a permanent coach in place who has worked his ideas onto the squad for the best part of two years now. Central defender Jules Kounde has found himself being linked to all the top sides in Europe following his brilliant performances, while the attacking players such as Youssef En-Nesyri and January signing Papau Gomez will be keen to impress on the big stage once again.

Dortmund can score goals, nothing has changed there, but defensively they are incredibly suspect. There is a huge lack of pace in their back line which Sevilla will be keen to expose but also just a genuine lack of quality and leadership in defensive situations.

This comes down to individual quality (Dortmund) against organisation and teamwork (Sevilla). Normally, I’d back the quality when the gap is so wide but it’s hard to judge when the gap isn’t.

Overall, I think we get a shock in this tie. It should be a high scoring tie, and I think both teams will be able to score goals and win their respective home tie but Sevilla’s superior defence should see them come out on top overall.

PREDICTION:

Sevilla 2-1 Dortmund
Dortmund 3-2 Sevilla
(4-4 on aggregate, Sevilla to progress on away goals)

Champions League last 16 predictions – RB Leipzig vs Liverpool

The Champions League is back and the last 16 has thrown up some really exciting ties to determine who will make it into the quarter-finals.

Among them are English champions Liverpool, who are currently going through a shocking run of form, who take on Bundesliga side RB Leipzig who came through a group of death in the group stages and currently sit in second place domestically.

The Reds are going through their worst run of form in the last three years and have now lost three league games in a row for the first time since November 2014, while the Bundesliga side have won each of their last four games.

A big factor of this tie will be the fact that neither side will benefit from home advantage at any point. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the first leg (Leipzig’s home leg) will be held in Budapest at the Puskas Arena while the second leg (Liverpool’s home leg) will be held in a neutral venue also – although it’s undecided where yet.

Being behind closed doors was already a big factor for both sides, with both clubs’ atmosphere key to their successes in previous years. Obviously this year has been different since the start, with no fans at all anyway, but in Europe it could make all the difference.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League : News Photo

Liverpool’s style of play would usually be the exact remedy to getting a result against Leipzig, with their capabilities to both counter at speed and also control possession and sustain attacks among the best in Europe. Leipzig have shown an ability to deal with top teams with their own system, with Nagelsman able to be tactically flexible with several systems under his belt.

It’s an intriguing tie moreso because of the way both sides are playing right now. On paper, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn’t see Liverpool progressing with relative ease when the draw was made initially.

The pace of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane up front with the playmaking abilities of Thiago Alcantara and Roberto Firmino would have made them a scary prospect on the counter attack, and they still are. But recent games have shown a true lack of killer instinct in the final third and has seen them struggle to convert chances against opposition they’d normally dispatch of.

Leipzig’s star defender Dayot Upamecano has just been announced as a Bayern Munich player for next season, which will likely have some sort of effect on the build up for the game.

RB Leipzig v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga : News Photo

Now however, Leipzig will take encouragement from the situation of both teams and will believe they can damage the Reds both home and away. A one-legged tie may have suited the Germans even more with their versatility in games, but as it stands I think Liverpool will still have too much for them over two games.

While they’ve lacked a cutting edge going forward, Liverpool are still showing enough in their build up to convince me that they will create chances and at some point those chances will turn to goals once again.

Jordan Henderson’s role in central defence could be a big problem for them defensively, but if Fabinho can get back to fitness and partner Ozan Kabak or Ben Davies, that would allow Henderson to move back into midfield and do what he does best. He is the leader of the team in more ways than just wearing the armband and his presence is needed back in the centre of the pitch.

While I think there will be goals in both directions in this time, overall I think Liverpool’s added quality will shade them the win and they’ll progress into the quarter-finals.

PREDICTION:

RB Leipzig 1-1 Liverpool
Liverpool 2-1 RB Leipzig
(Liverpool progress 3-2 on aggregate)