Liverpool's Champions League trip to RB Leipzig moved to Puskas Arena in Budapest

Germany has banned entry on all arrivals from areas affected by coronavirus mutations until at least February 17; Liverpool were due to play RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig; it will kick-off on the same day at the same time at the Puskas Arena at 8pm (GMT) on February 16

The Puskas Arena in Budapest will now host RB Leipzig vs Liverpool in the Champions League
Image: The Puskas Arena in Budapest will now host RB Leipzig vs Liverpool in the Champions League

Liverpool's Champions League match against RB Leipzig will take place at the Puskas Arena in Budapest after a venue change.

The last-16 tie was originally due to take place at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, and will now kick-off on the same day at the same time at 8pm (GMT) on February 16 after Germany banned entry on all arrivals from areas affected by coronavirus mutations until at least February 17.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp felt an exemption would have been "reasonable" but the German government confirmed there would be no special allowances for the Premier League champions, who host Leipzig at Anfield for the second leg on March 10.

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UEFA, who could also impose Arsenal's Europa League last-32 tie with Benfica to be played over one leg on neutral territory because of strict new UK coronavirus rules on arrivals from Portugal, confirmed the fixture change on Sunday.

"UEFA can confirm that the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC will now take place at Puskas Arena in Budapest," read a statement.

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"The date of the match (16 February 2021) and kick-off time (21:00 CET, 20:00 GMT) will remain the same.

"UEFA would like to thank RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC for their close cooperation and assistance in finding a solution to the issue at hand, as well as the Hungarian Football Federation for their support and agreeing to host the match in question."

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A statement from the German government on Friday added: "The Corona Protection Ordinance passed by the German government last Friday provides for only a few exceptions and no special regulations for professional athletes.

"The Federal Police informed the club RB Leipzig today that the described case constellation does not fall under the exceptions."

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Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez in Liverpool's CL squad

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have been included in Liverpool's Champions League squad for the remainder of the season.

Netherlands international Van Dijk has been sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament injury since October, and is a doubt to play again this term.

Fellow defender Gomez is also unlikely to play again in 2020/21 after picking up a knee injury while training with England in November.

New recruits Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak have been included in the squad along with fellow defender Nat Phillips.

Joel Matip has been taken off the list after he was ruled out for the remainder of the 2020-21 season with an ankle ligament injury.

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