RB Leipzig defender Willi Orban has warned his teammates of the “brutal quality” that bruised Premier League champions Liverpool still possess.
The Reds head into Tuesday’s Champions League tie with their top-flight title defence all but over.
Defeat to Manchester City on Sunday put the leaders 10 points clear of Liverpool with a game in hand. Indeed, Sunday’s loss made it only two wins in the past nine Premier League games.
What’s more, with Jurgen Klopp‘s men also out of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, reclaiming their European crown is their only realistic hope of a trophy this season.
Despite heading into their last-16 encounter in poor form, though, Orban is wary of Liverpool’s threat.
“I like to watch good football and therefore watch Premier League games,” he told Kicker (via Sport Witness).
“I would have seen Liverpool’s 1:4 on Sunday against Manchester City the same way, just a bit more consciously this time. But for now I’m fully focused on Augsburg.
“For almost all the really big teams that have played outstandingly in the last few years, it is incredibly difficult to bring consistency back onto the pitch in these times.
“Liverpool have also had a lot of bad luck with injuries. With this tight fixture list, it’s certainly not easy to compensate for that at the top level.
“But they still have brutal quality in their squad. Still, we don’t have to hide, I am in a positive mood.”
Liverpool have a point to prove in Europe this season, after exiting at the last 16 stage last term. Atletico Madrid proved their downfall at Anfield last season, with the Spanish side facing Chelsea this time round.
Second leg could be moved
Liverpool’s clash with Leipzig has already encountered significant disruption; the first leg will be played in Budapest due to Germany’s tough coronavirus regulations.
However, the second leg is also facing a potential venue change, away from Anfield.
The Times reports that the German government has informed Leipzig that their players would have to quarantine for 10 days upon their return from England after the match on March 10.
As such, Liverpool are already searching for solutions.