RB Leipzig Still in The Dark Over UEFA Champions League Game Against Liverpool

·2-min read

RB Leipzig does not yet know where they will play their Champions League last-16 first leg against Liverpool on Feb. 16 with the club working on a number of options if German authorities refuse entry to the English club.

Germany has banned all arrivals from areas affected by COVID-19 mutations until at least Feb. 17, with the only exceptions made for German citizens or residents.

Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said on Friday he was not concerned about the game and would wait on final decisions regarding the location.

“I talked with (Leipzig managing director) Oliver Mintzlaff a short while ago and there is nothing new at the moment to announce,” Nagelsmann told a virtual news conference.

“I cannot organise it or schedule it myself. Other people do that. We will have to wait for the situation to be decided. It has not yet been decided so we cannot say anything.”

Germany’s interior ministry said on Thursday that the federal police had informed the club its case did “not fall under the category of exceptional circumstances,” German media reported.

But club spokesman Till Mueller sounded confident the game would not be cancelled.

“We work towards all directions,” Mueller said. “The game will certainly not be cancelled. We will announce something once we have facts.”

Leipzig, last season’s Champions League semi-finalists, will most likely have to find an alternate venue for the clash. Another option is to shift the two-leg tie around and first play in England on Feb. 16.

Asked about whether there was any home advantage when there were no fans in stadium if the first leg is switched to Liverpool, Nagelsmann said even without spectators home teams had a slight edge.

“Irrespective of the Liverpool game, you still have a small home advantage, a bit reduced than if you play with fans. But you still avoid a trip, get to sleep in your own bed. Some people are affected by this greater than some others.”

“An away game is always associated with a bit of strain so it is still a small home advantage.”

“I assume and hope the game will take place, at home or not and we will prepare and make the best of the situation and play a good game against Liverpool,” Nagelsmann said.