RB Leipzig v Liverpool Tips: Thiago primed for a booking in the Champions League
Just after the Champions League last 16 draw was made back on December 14, Liverpool were priced at 10/11 to beat Red Bull Leipzig in the first leg of their knockout tie. Since then the Reds have won just five of their 15 fixtures and have suffered defeat in their last three. As a result, Jurgen Klopp’s side have drifted from odds-on all the way out to 7/5, which could be even bigger by the time of Tuesday’s 8pm kick off.
It’s worth noting that this game will take place in Budapest, Hungary, due to the travel restrictions and quarantine periods that Germany are currently enforcing. This is a loss for Leipzig but on the flip side they will have no crowd to deal with at Anfield in the return leg. We’ve got three football tips for the game that can be seen live on BT Sport 2.
Liverpool’s injuries show no sign of letting up with James Milner the latest addition to the treatment table after coming off in the first half against Leicester. Fabinho did not train on Monday and Jordan Henderson is likely to play in central defence along Ozan Kabak.
RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi spent five years with Liverpool and will line up against his former employers in between the sticks. Emi Forsberg, Justin Kluivert and Konrad Laimer are all doubtful for Julian Nagelsmann’s side.
Angelino 2+ shots - 2pts @ 7/5 Betfair, Paddy Power
Thiago Alcantara to be carded - 1.5pts @ 3/1 Paddy Power
RB Leipzig to win or draw, Angelino 2+ shot, Thiago to be carded - 0.25pts @ 20/1 Paddy Power
Manchester United fans will remember Angelino from both his time at Manchester City and from the performance he put in during Leipzig’s 3-2 win against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side earlier this season. The left-wing-back put grabbed himself both a goal and an assist that day and I’m backing him to have at least two shots against Liverpool on Tuesday evening.
This is currently available at 7/5 with Paddy Power although it may be worth shopping around with 2/1 available with Coral at the time of writing. With eight goals and nine assists in all competitions this campaign, Angelino has been a prominent figure in the final third for Red Bull Leipzig. I think we should see the Spaniard getting forward on every possible opportunity on Tuesday with the Germans keen to take a positive result into the second leg.
When it comes to shots taken, Angelino registered at least two shots on target in all three of his Champions League group games that were played at home. In the league the 24-year-old is averaging 1.9 shots per game at home this season and although this game is being played at a neutral venue in Budapest, I still think Nagelsmann’s side will set up and approach this game as if it were on German soil. A player who often plays the full 90, I’m taking a punt on Angelino to have two shots, for which he has done so in seven of his last 11 in all competitions.
There’s plenty of discussion at the moment around the performance of Thiago Alcantara at Liverpool and whether the midfielder fits the style that the Premier League Champions are used to. Champions League knockout phase games can often yield a high amount of bookings due to what’s on the line and my one selection to find their way into referee Slavko Vincic’s notebook on Tuesday is Thiago at the price of 3/1 with Paddy Power.
The former Bayern Munich man has only started three Premier League games this term, however has been cautioned in three of those. Jamie Carragher even stated on social media that “Thiago is a liability defensively” after Saturday’s loss against on Saturday. Over his last eight games Thiago averages 2.75 fouls per game, and with the pressure growing on Liverpool and a place in the Champions League quarter-finals on the line, the 29-year-old looks primed for another. 3/1 is currently the industry best price from both Betfair and Paddy Power.
I’ve also opted for a small play on a 20/1 selection, that those kind folk over at Paddy Power have boosted from 16/1. The 20/1 includes both of the selections above with Red Bull Leipzig to win or draw the game also.
Leipzig are currently 2/1 to beat Liverpool over two legs with Jurgen Klopp’s side just 1/3 with some firms to advance to the quarters. Considering Liverpool’s issues off the pitch I’m more than willing to have Leipzig to win or draw the game onside in this first leg, despite the loss of home advantage with the game being played in Hungary.
I don’t think this should be too big a factor for Julian Nagelsmann’s team, especially considering there will be no fans in the second leg to make it ‘one of those European nights at Anfield’. RB currently sit second in the Bundesliga, just four points off leaders Bayern. They have won four consecutive games and have only been beaten twice in their last 17 in all competitions.
Liverpool’s front three should never be underestimated and they have the quality to cause problems for any defence in the world. However issues in other areas of the field, particularly in defence which should see Ozan Kabak and Jordan Henderson at centre-back, are areas that can be exploited by Leipzig.
Liverpool are still the 7/5 favourites to win this game and considering they have won just three of their last 11, I’m more than happy to oppose Klopp’s side. It would be no surprise to see the Liverpool players show some togetherness and put in a huge performance for their manager who has been going through a tough time on and off the field, but at the prices I cannot keep away from Leipzig double chance.
A win or draw for RB, combined with Thiago to be carded and Angelino to have two or more shots is currently available at 20/1. The Liverpool midfielder was cautioned twice in this competition last term for Bayern and also picked up seven yellow cards in 24 Bundesliga appearances. Angelino is a proven threat in attacking areas and after landing at least two shots on target in each of his Champions League group games this term, I’m hoping this treble can get close.