BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - Tuesday, February 16, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Puskás Aréna. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool ‘likely’ to return to Budapest for RB Leipzig Champions League tie

A return to the Puskas Arena is expected for the second leg of Liverpool’s last-16 Champions League tie with RB Leipzig due to continued German travel restrictions.

The two teams made the trip to Hungary in mid-February after Liverpool were denied an exemption by the German government to play the first leg as planned at the Red Bull Arena.

COVID-19 restrictions from places where new variants existed meant the Reds were banned from entering Germany, and this time around an enforced quarantine is set to see the game moved from Anfield.

Under current guidelines, Leipzig would have to quarantine on their return from England after the game on March 10.

The German authorities are set to review their restrictions on March 5, but with a change not expected “it is highly probable” that the tie will return to Budapest, according to the Times’ Paul Joyce.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - Tuesday, February 16, 2021: A general view of the Puskás Aréna ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Propaganda)

A number of stadiums were considered to host the fixture, including in the Netherlands and Italy before other restrictions and travel time came into play.

And while the move from Anfield will be disappointing, Jurgen Klopp did speak highly of his experience at the Puskas Arena after the first leg.

“Brilliant, really brilliant, it’s a great stadium,” Klopp said. “Inside, it looks a little bit like the Atletico Madrid stadium, which felt good for us, to be honest. It’s a great stadium, the pitch was great.

“I’m pretty sure it’s a proper football stadium so if this one is sold out in the future that will create some atmosphere. Thank you very much, Budapest, for having us.”

The Reds hold a 2-0 advantage over Leipzig in the last-16 tie, thanks to goals from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, a solid foundation ahead of the reverse fixture as they look to secure a place in the quarter-finals.