Who would have thought continental football would be a bit of a pain in the backside in the middle of a global pandemic? We’re only through the first round of Champions League and Europa League knockout games, but we’ve already […]
Who would have thought continental football would be a bit of a pain in the backside in the middle of a global pandemic?
We’re only through the first round of Champions League and Europa League knockout games, but we’ve already had eight high-profile venue changes as a result of travel restrictions.
But that is just expected to be the tip of the iceberg. We already know Arsenal‘s second leg with Benfica next week will be played in Greece, and it is widely expected that Liverpool‘s return leg with Leipzig – due to take place on 10 March – will not take place at Anfield.
The first leg was played at Budapest’s Puskas Arena as a result of the German government refusing to grant entry to Jurgen Klopp’s team – which is of course understandable given the rise in cases of the new strain of coronavirus.
Their hardline stance is expected to continue, and if Leipzig were to travel to England, they would be forced to quarantine for ten days upon their return.
Given they were forced to find an alternative venue for the first leg, the responsibility falls on Liverpool to ensure this one can be played at a neutral stadium, and The Athletic report that a return to the Puskas Arena is on the cards.
That is just one of many options on the table, however: the report notes that there are eight different venues on the table across three countries: Hungary, italy, and Romania.
That is just one of several options on the table, though: the report notes that a total of eight venues across Hungary, Italy and Romania are under consideration for the second leg.
Manchester United’s tie with Real Sociedad took place in Turin at Juventus’ Allianz Stadium, and that may be an option with Juve due to host Porto on 9 March.
Atletico Madrid’s tie with Chelsea this week is due to take place at the at the Arena Naţională in Bucharest, with the same venue due to host Borussia Monchengladbach with Manchester City a day later.
Stadio Olimpico, home to Benfica vs Arsenal on Thursday night, seems like another possible option.
Liverpool vs RB Leipzig – potential venues
Puskas Arena – Hungary
Allianz Stadium – Italy
Stadio Olimpico – Italy
Arena Naţională – Romania
Venue changes tend to be officially announced 10-14 days in advance of the match, so expect a formal announcement some time at the end of February.