Liverpool are looking to hold onto their 2-0 advantage over RB Leipzig in the second leg of their round of 16 ties
Liverpool enters Tuesday’s Champions League Round of 16 second leg with a 2-0 advantage over RB Leipzig, courtesy of its win at German power’s home venue in the first meeting.
However, the Reds have been in disastrous form on the domestic front in England’s Premier League.
For that reason, it makes the second match up quite a conundrum… or does it? Here’s a closer look at the two European stalwarts, followed by a prediction of this interesting showdown.
The Reds have one win and three losses since their 2-0 victory over RB Leipzig on Feb. 16 in Budapest. They suffered a defeat against Everton 2-0; earned a 2-0 win over last-place Sheffield United; and, then suffered back-to-back 1-0 shutout losses against Chelsea and relegation-contender Fulham.
The lone win came against the team in all likelihood heading down to the Championship next season, and all defeats came on home soil at Anfield. In fact, Liverpool has now lost six consecutive home games, which is something that has never happened in club history.
This is technically a home match, too, for the Reds, but it’ll also be played in Budapest due to COVID-19 restrictions. That is arguably a good thing for Liverpool, given its recent performances at Anfield.
A bigger concern is Liverpool’s difficulty scoring as of late. As I previously mentioned, the Reds failed to score in three of their past four matches — including Sunday’s 1-0 loss to struggling Fulham.
On the bright side, Liverpool has conceded only four goals in those four matches. However, the club is still injury ravaged defensively, with its latest center-back partnership being 20-year-old Rhys Williams and 23-year-old Nat Phillips in that meeting with the Cottagers.
The Red Bulls, on the other hand, have won four in a row since their first-leg disappointment against Liverpool. RB Leipzig has outscored its opponents by an 11-2 margin in the process via wins over Hertha Berlin (3-0); Borussia Mönchengladbach (3-2); Wolfsburg (2-0 in the DFB-Pokal); and, Freiburg (3-0) this past Saturday.
RB Leipzig is pushing Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title and sits just two points behind the defending champion, who have won it the league title eight years in a row, with 10 matches left on the schedule.
In terms of xG (expected goal) differential, RB Leipzig is even better than Bayern Munich at +23.4 xGDiff, compared to Bayern’s +21.6 figure, according to FBRef.com.
Bottom line, RB Leipzig should be feeling pretty confident right now, and it appears the club is:
Betting Analysis & Picks
The first match up was far closer than the scoreline indicates. RB Leipzig outshot Liverpool, 12-10, in defeat. The Reds were tops in terms of xG via a 1.8-1.4 xG edge, but both goals came largely from RB Leipzig defensive gaffes.
That said, I think the Liverpool having errors in their defensive third of the pitch are much more likely this time around.
It’s a mighty tall order for RB Leipzig to overturn the 2-0 deficit. The Red Bulls only have an 8 percent chance of doing so, according to FiveThirtyEight.
However, I do think it’s likely they’ll at least put a dent into that deficit, given the teams’ vastly divergent forms as of late.
Pick: Over 2.5 Match Goals