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Liverpool v RB Leipzig Tips: Get on the cards in Champions League clash

Liverpool v RB Leipzig Tips: Thiago features
Liverpool v RB Leipzig Tips: Thiago features

Liverpool and RB Leizpig head back to the Puskás Aréna with the former playing the hosts on this occasion as they lockhorns for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

These sides have endured polar opposite fates, in terms of results, since Liverpool emerged 0-2 victors in the first leg. Jurgen Klopp’s men have lost all four of their Premier League fixtures, conceding six goals without reply. Liverpool’s supremo may even be relieved that he does not have to play this clash at Anfield as Liverpool haven’t won their since the turn of the year, their defeat to Fulham on Sunday was their sixth on the spin at their ‘fortress’.

In stark contrast, RB Leipzig have won all four of their games since the first leg, besting the likes of Borussia M’Gladbach, in a hot streak that has seen them average 2.5 goals a game and keep three clean sheets. During which time they have closed the gap on Bayern Munich to just two points. 

Today's football tips

The bookies prefer Liverpool ever so slightly pricing them at odds around 29/20 and Leipzig at 9/5. However, the visitors LWB Angelino has said the pressure is on The Reds in this one and he could be right. Liverpool are slipping down the EPL proceedings and with each loss a top four finish becomes more and more unlikely, therefore, winning this competition could be their only hope of qualifying for it next season. With the German side 2-0 down they are effectively playing with nothing to lose which could provide them with a psychological edge in this bout.

Marcel Sabitzer to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-03-09 21:50 Odds subject to change.

This campaign, Marcel Sabitzer has accumulated eight yellow cards in 32 appearances for club and country. He has averaged one every 270 minutes played meaning he has received one caution per every three games this campaign! The Austrian playmaker has received cards on a slightly more regular basis in the UCL as well- averaging one every 240 minutes played- as he has picked up two in six apps, both of which game against Manchester United.

Despite being deployed for his ability on the ball, his work off it has been quite impressive this campaign with him averaging 1.2 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and one foul per game for club and country. Once again though, when he steps foot on the European stage, these averages increase, Sabitzer averages 1.8 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 1.8 fouls per game in the Champions League.

All of this data points to the fact that RBL’s lynchpin should be a lot shorter for a card tomorrow evening and this is the case, he is just 2/1 for a card elsewhere.

Champions League betting
Thiago to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-03-09 22:00 Odds subject to change.

Thiago’s stint in the Liverpool side has not been a successful one, with some suggesting his style of play is too slow and consequently disrupts Liverpool’s high line and energetic counter press.

When the Spaniard broke into the starting XI, he was conceding a lot of fouls- an average of around three per game- and picked up three cards in a seven game period in the EPL. In terms of his fouls average, we have seen a gradual decline, however, Thiago’s defensive output is staggering. Since Liverpool’s victory at Spurs, Thiago has completed 26 tackles in eight games, as he has done no fewer than two in a game and racked up seven vs Brighton!

Given the game state, Leipzig surely have to get at Liverpool tomorrow, setting us up for an enthralling clash. In the first leg we saw Julian Nagelsmann deploy a high press as he attempted to restrict Liverpool gaining control of the game by dominating midfield with their numerical superiority. With Liverpool also pressing high this meant we saw lots of transitions, particularly in the middle of the park. 

In possession, Thiago drops into a double pivot alongside Wijnaldum with Curtis Jones given more attacking freedom. If RBL can dispossess Liverpool high up the pitch it would expose Thiago in transition leaving him exposed to the likes of Olmo and Nkunku 1v1, the pair have drawn an average of 3.15 fouls per game this season. 

Sabitzer and Thiago to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-03-09 22:05 Odds subject to change.

Given the fact that we have a favourable refereeing appointment, I am happy to have a punt on the double at 22/1.

Frenchman, Clément Turpin, has overseen four games in the UCL and UEL this season during which he has brandished a total of 18 yellow cards. Throughout his career, he has awarded an average of 3.8Y cards per the 102 UCL games he has taken charge of. However, his average per season has seen a gradual increase over the last few. He has had the whistle for exactly five UCL games over the last three campaigns, in the 17/18 season he averaged 3.4Y per game, in 18/19 he averaged 3.6Y and in 19/20 he averaged 4.2Y. Given the importance of this clash and how nicely poised it is at a neural venue, you’d expect cards to flow.

Best of luck if you are joining me with any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly! 

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