Julian Nagelsmann admits Liverpool are ‘slight favourites’ for Champions League last-16 first leg… but RB Leipzig boss is confident they can ‘hold their own’ in the tie with Jurgen Klopp’s men on three-game losing streak
- RB Leipzig have the best defensive record of any Bundesliga side this season
- Their Champions League tie against Liverpool will take place in Budapest
- Julian Nagelsmann believes recent history shows his side can hold their own
- But he believes Jurgen Klopp’s side’s ‘international experience’ puts them ahead
RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann admits opponents Liverpool are ‘slight favourites’ ahead of their Champions league last-16 first leg but backed his side to ‘hold our own’ against the Premier League champions.
Leipzig sit second in the Bundesliga with the best defensive record of any side in the German top flight this season, and have conceded just one goal in their last four matches across all competitions.
Tuesday’s game against Liverpool was moved to Hungary from Leipzig due to Covid-19 travel restrictions between Germany and Britain.
RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann admits Liverpool are ‘slight favourites’ ahead of their Champions league clash
Leipzig have the best defensive record of any Bundesliga side this season and sit second
But Nagelsmann – who took his side to the Champions League semi-final last season – believes his side have the ability even without home advantage to match their next opponents, who he admitted were narrowly favourites due to their ‘international experience’.
‘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 told a press conference ahead of their departure for Budapest.
‘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.’
Tuesday’s game against Liverpool was moved to Hungary from Leipzig due to Covid-19
But Nagelsmann has backed his side to match Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions
Liverpool – who won the competition two seasons ago – have suffered a major slump in form in the Premier League and their defeat by Leicester at the weekend saw them lose three league games in a row for the first time since 2014.
Jurgen Klopp’s side now sit fourth in the Premier League, 13 points behind leaders Manchester City having played a game more, but Nagelsmann believes their league woes will matter little on the European scene.
‘A lot depends on the form of the day,’ Nagelsmann added. ‘We know that Liverpool still are a very good team with world-class players. It is always difficult to defend against them.
‘The results in the Premier League don’t count in the Champions League. They have written off the league title and will be 100% focused on the game tomorrow.’
The Reds’s defeat by Leicester means they have lost their last three top-flight matches
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