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Leipzig vs Liverpool: UEFA Champions League background, form guide, previous meetings

Two of Germany's most celebrated coaches face off as Julian Nagelsmann's Leipzig welcome a Liverpool side led by Jürgen Klopp.

Julian Nagelsmann and Jürgen Klopp last met in 2017
Julian Nagelsmann and Jürgen Klopp last met in 2017 AFP via Getty Images

Two of Germany's most high-profile coaches face off as Julian Nagelsmann's Leipzig welcome a Liverpool side led by Jürgen Klopp in the first leg of their teams' round of 16 tie.

• Leipzig are in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the second time after their debut appearance in 2019/20, ensuring a round of 16 return by finishing second behind Paris Saint-Germain in Group H thanks to a dramatic Matchday 6 victory against Liverpool's domestic rivals Manchester United. Liverpool, meanwhile, came first in Group D, winning four of their six matches to reach this stage for the fourth season in a row.

• This is the first fixture between the teams, and is being played at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest.

Watch all Leipzig's group stage goals

Form guide

• Leipzig have won all three home games in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League, beating İstanbul Başakşehir (2-0) and Paris Saint-Germain (2-1) before the 3-2 win against United on Matchday 6 that secured progress. They lost their first two away games, going down 5-0 at United and 1-0 in Paris, but recorded a crucial 4-3 victory at İstanbul Başakşehir on Matchday 5, substitute Alexander Sørloth scoring an added-time winner.

• This is Leipzig's third UEFA Champions League campaign, all in the last four seasons, and their fourth foray into European football overall.

• The 2019/20 season proved to be the most successful in Leipzig's brief European history, Nagelsmann's side going all the way to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Leipzig picked up 11 points to finish first in their section – they had come third in their two previous group stage campaigns in UEFA competition – ahead of Lyon, Benfica and Zenit.

• Leipzig then beat 2018/19 runners-up Tottenham in their first UEFA Champions League knockout tie (1-0 a, 3-0 h) and Atlético de Madrid (2-1) in a one-off quarter-final in Lisbon prior to a 3-0 semi-final defeat by Paris.

• Leipzig have now won 12 of their 22 UEFA Champions League fixtures (D3 L7).

• This is Leipzig's first ever game in Hungary, and their third UEFA fixture on neutral territory after last season's matches against Atlético and Paris.

• Third in the Bundesliga for the second season in a row in 2019/20, this is Leipzig's fourth European campaign and only their 41st match. In 2017/18 they became the first team to make their European debut in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• This season's Matchday 6 win at home to Manchester United made it three victories from Leipzig's four games against English clubs although the exception, a 5-0 reverse at Old Trafford, was their heaviest European defeat.

Watch all Liverpool's group stage goals

• The Reds won their first three games in this season's competition without conceding, beating Ajax (1-0) and Atalanta (5-0) away and Midtjylland (2-0) at home. A 2-0 defeat by the Italian side on Matchday 4 was their first group stage reverse at Anfield since October 2014, but progress and first place were assured by another 1-0 win against Ajax on Matchday 5 before a closing 1-1 draw at Midtjylland.

• Liverpool were champions of England for the 19th time in 2019/20, their first league title since 1990.

• The Reds are in the UEFA Champions League for the 13th time; this is the tenth time they have reached the last 16.

• Klopp's side also finished top of Group E in 2019/20, recovering from losing their opening fixture 2-0 at Napoli to advance with 13 points ahead of the Italian club. They sealed progress on Matchday 6 with a 2-0 victory at Salzburg.

• Liverpool had won their sixth European Cup in 2018/19, but their defence of the trophy came to a halt in the round of 16, Atlético winning 1-0 in Spain and, after extra time, 3-2 at Anfield. The latter result ended Liverpool's 25-match unbeaten home run in Europe (W18 D7), since a 3-0 loss to Real Madrid on 22 October 2014, and was their first aggregate defeat in 12 two-legged knockout ties in UEFA competition.

• Liverpool have won 13 of their last 21 European fixtures (D3 L5).

• Liverpool's last game against a Bundesliga side came in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League, a round of 16 win against Bayern München (0-0 h, 3-1 a) that made their record in two-legged ties against German clubs W15 L2. They have won the last five, since a 4-3 aggregate defeat against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2001/02 quarter-finals (1-0 h, 2-4 a).

• The Reds are unbeaten in ten games with German clubs since that 2002 loss at Leverkusen (W7 D3) – their only reverse in their past 18 fixtures (W11 D6).

• This is Liverpool's first game in Hungary since a 1-0 victory away to Debrecen in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage, a match played at Budapest's Ferenc Puskás Stadium, which was demolished in 2016 to make way for the Puskás Aréna that opened three years later. That win was Liverpool's first in Hungary on their third visit in UEFA competition (D2), all those games taking place in Budapest.

• Liverpool's record against German clubs on neutral territory is W2 D1 L1, with victories in their last two such matches, most recently a 3-2 defeat of Bayern in the 2001 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco. They also beat Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1977 European Cup final in Rome to win the trophy for the first time having lost 2-1 to Dortmund in Glasgow in the 1966 European Cup Winners' Cup final.

• Last season's defeat at Atlético in the round of 16 is Liverpool's only loss in their last six UEFA Champions League away matches (W4 D1).

• The Merseyside club are in the round of 16 for the fourth season in a row and the ninth overall; their record is W6 L2. Both defeats have come as holders; against Benfica in 2005/06 (0-1 a, 0-2 h) and Atlético last season.

• Last season's elimination by Atlético was Liverpool's first aggregate defeat in the UEFA Champions League since a 7-5 aggregate loss to Chelsea in the 2008/09 quarter-finals.

• Before last season, the Reds were unbeaten in eight matches in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 (W6 D2); they had kept seven consecutive clean sheets before conceding at Bayern in 2018/19. Their previous defeat before losing at Atlético was a 1-0 loss at home to Barcelona in the 2006/07 second leg; they won that tie on away goals having triumphed 2-1 in Spain.

Rush on Liverpool's Leipzig clash

Links and trivia
• Klopp's Liverpool beat Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim 6-3 on aggregate in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League play-offs, Trent Alexander-Arnold opening the scoring in a 2-1 first-leg victory in Sinsheim before goals from Mohamed Salah and former Hoffenheim striker Roberto Firmino helped the English club to a 4-2 victory at Anfield.

• Naby Keïta was a Leipzig player between 2016 and 2018, when he joined Liverpool. He scored 17 goals in 71 appearances for Leipzig, where his team-mates included Péter Gulácsi, Marcel Halstenberg, Lukas Klostermann, Willy Orban, Emil Forsberg, Marcel Sabitzer, Kevin Kampl, Ibrahima Konaté, Dayot Upamecano, Konrad Laimer and Yussuf Poulsen.

• Gulácsi was on the books at Liverpool between 2007 and 2013, but did not make a first-team appearance. He had loan spells at Hereford United (2009), Tranmere (2010) and Hull (2011/12) before leaving permanently for Salzburg in 2013.

• Have also played in Germany:
Thiago Alcántara (Bayern München 2013–20)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern München 2012–15)
Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim 2011–15)
Divock Origi (Wolfsburg 2017/18)
Nathaniel Phillips (Stuttgart 2019/20 loan)
Ozan Kabak (Stuttgart 2019, Schalke 2019–21)

• Have also played in England:
Angeliño (Manchester City 2013–18, 2019)
Alexander Sørloth (Crystal Palace 2018–19)

• International team-mates:
Dani Olmo & Thiago Alcántara (Spain)
Justin Kluivert & Georginio Wijnaldum, Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands)

• Justin Kluivert and Alisson were briefly team-mates at Roma in summer 2018.

• Klopp was coach of Borussia Dortmund when Kevin Kampl joined the club in January 2015.

• Thiago scored in Bayern's 3-0 Bundesliga win against Leipzig on 21 December 2016. He was also on target in a 5-4 Bayern win on 13 May 2017, with Sabitzer and Poulsen among the Leipzig scorers.

• Dominik Szoboszlai started both Salzburg's 4-3 loss at Anfield and 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Firmino scored in Brazil's 2-1 defeat of Sabitzer's Austria in a friendly on 18 November 2014, his first international goal on his second appearance.

• Wijnaldum's goal helped the Netherlands to a 4-2 win against a Germany side including Klostermann in a UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier on 6 September 2019.

• Leipzig's new signing Dominik Szoboszlai scored the late winning goal for Hungary against Iceland in the UEFA EURO 2020 play-off final at the Puskás Aréna on 12 November 2020. His Leipzig team-mates Gulácsi and Orban were also starters for Hungary in that match.

Latest news

Watch all Salah's Liverpool Champions League goals

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Dominik Szoboszlai
Out: Dennis Borkowski, Eric Martel, Tim Schreiber, Philipp Tschauner

• Emil Forsberg's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.

• Leipzig have won nine of their 13 matches in all competitions since Matchday 6 (D2 L2); they beat Augsburg 2-1 at home on Friday.

• Their sole defeats were a 3-1 loss at home against Dortmund on 9 January and a 3-2 reverse in Mainz on 23 January, both in the Bundesliga.

• After 21 Bundesliga matchdays Leipzig have amassed 44 points – two more than at the same stage of last season. In 2019/20 they had scored 53 goals after 21 games, 16 more than this season.

• Julian Nagelsmann's team have won their last four games, scoring ten goals, and had kept three consecutive clean sheets before Friday. They have also won their last four home games, including three in a row without conceding before beating Augsburg.

• At the beginning of March Leipzig will host Wolfsburg in the German Cup quarter-finals after winning 3-0 in Augsburg on 22 December and beating 2. Bundesliga side Bochum 4-0 on 3 February.

• Alexander Sørloth scored his first Bundesliga goal against Dortmund; Tyler Adams did likewise in Mainz.

• Benjamin Henrichs, who has been out since the end of November due to knee problems, made a partial return to team training at the beginning of February.

• Forsberg has missed the last four games because of a knee injury; Justin Kluivert had missed two due to ankle problems but was an unused substitute on Friday.

• Winter new signing Szoboszlai is yet to play for Leipzig due to an adductor problem.

• A knee injury has sidelined Konrad Laimer since 18 August; he underwent surgery in mid-September.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Ben Davies (Preston), Ozan Kabak (Schalke, loan), Nathaniel Phillips
Out: Harvey Elliott, Joël Matip, Takumi Minamino (Southampton, loan)

• Liverpool have won only five of their 15 matches in all competitions since Matchday 6 (D4 L6), and have lost five of their last seven games (W2), including a 3-1 loss at Leicester on Saturday.

• The Reds have suffered five defeats in their last eight Premier League matches – as many as in their previous 93 games. They have lost three league games in a row for the first time since November 2014.

• Jürgen Klopp marked his 300th match as Liverpool manager at Leicester, with Sadio Mané making his 200th appearance for the club.

• Liverpool's 68-match unbeaten home league run (W55 D13) was ended by a 1-0 reverse against Burnley on 21 January. They also lost their next two Premier League matches at Anfield, against Brighton on 3 February (0-1) and Manchester City four days later (1-4).

• The defeat by City made Liverpool the first English champions to lose three successive home games in the following campaign since Chelsea in 1955/56.

• The 7-2 loss at Aston Villa on 4 October was the first time Liverpool had conceded seven goals in a game since April 1963, in a 7-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Liverpool were also the first reigning English champions to concede seven goals in a league match since September 1953, when Arsenal lost 7-1 at Sunderland.

• Liverpool have 40 points after 24 games of this season's Premier League, 30 less than at the same stage of last season – the biggest drop by the champions at the same stage in English top-flight history.

• Jürgen Klopp's side have conceded 42 goals in their 35 games in all competitions this season; four of their 11 clean sheets have come in the UEFA Champions League. They have conceded in their last seven games in all competitions.

• Liverpool have twice lost 5-4 on penalties to Arsenal this season; at Wembley in the Community Shield on 29 August (after a 1-1 draw) and at Anfield in the last 16 of the English League Cup on 1 October (0-0).

• A 3-2 defeat at Manchester United on 24 January ended Liverpool's FA Cup campaign in the last 32.

• Joe Gomez damaged a tendon in his left knee in training with England on 11 November and has not played since.

• Virgil van Dijk is facing a long spell on the sidelines after sustaining a serious knee injury in a 2-2 draw at Everton on 17 October.

• Matip has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an ankle injury in a 3-1 Premier League win at Tottenham on 28 January; he has been removed from Liverpool's UEFA Champions League squad.

• Naby Keïta's last appearance was in the 7-0 Premier League win at Crystal Palace on 19 December; he has had an ankle injury.

• Fabinho (muscle) and Ben Davies (knock) missed Saturday's defeat at Leicester, while James Milner was forced off in the first half with a hamstring injury.

• Van Dijk and Thiago Alcántara were included in the UEFA.com fans' Men's Team of the Year 2020.