Champions League: Liverpool's last-16 second leg against RB Leipzig to be held in Budapest

Liverpool won the first leg, originally due to be held in Leipzig, 2-0 through goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the Puskas Arena in the Hungarian capital on February 16; tie impacted by coronavirus travel restrictions

The Puskas Arena in Budapest will now host RB Leipzig vs Liverpool in the Champions League
Image: The Puskas Arena in Budapest hosted the first leg between RB Leipzig and Liverpool in February

Liverpool's Champions League last-16 second leg against RB Leipzig will be played in Budapest, Hungary on March 10 rather than at Anfield.

The first leg was also played at the Puskas Arena in the Hungarian capital on February 16 because of Covid-19 restrictions affecting travel between Germany and England.

Liverpool won the reverse fixture, originally due to be held in Leipzig, against the Bundesliga club 2-0 through goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

UEFA confirmed on Tuesday Manchester City's second leg against German opponents Borussia Monchengladbach would take place at the Etihad Stadium as scheduled.

There are different regional restrictions affecting Leipzig, in the state of Saxony, to Monchengladbach, in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Leipzig would have been required to isolate for 10 days on their return home if they had played in England.

Neutral venues: what criteria is involved?

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Image: UEFA has been tasked with finding neutral venues in which to stage some Champions League games

Scheduling European matches has been a challenge for UEFA who have had to take into account national restrictions and, in some cases, schedule matches at neutral sites across the continent.

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With Liverpool and RB Leipzig once again set to play in Budapest, why are matches being staged at neutral venues and what is the criteria involved in selecting appropriate stadiums?

Well, if travel restrictions imposed by regional and or national governments mean that a match cannot be played as scheduled, UEFA and the clubs consult in order to find an alternative venue where the match can take place.

The main criteria that is taken into account is that no travel restrictions exist between the region or country of the proposed venue and the countries of the respective clubs.

Other factors, such as the availability of stadiums, travel distances and the wishes of the clubs are also taken into account.

Regarding Tottenham and Dinamo Zagreb, the matches could take place in London and Zagreb because travel exemptions were provided by the relevant authorities. There was no need for a neutral venue to be found.

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