Fabinho started against Chelsea last week and was used as a late substitute against Fulham last time out

Liverpool’s Fabinho could start in midfield in the Reds’ Champions League round of 16 tie against Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on Wednesday.

Fabinho had been filling in as a defender before a muscle injury ruled him out of four games in February.

He made his comeback in the 1-0 home defeat by Chelsea on 4 March before a substitute appearance in Sunday’s 1-0 Anfield loss to Fulham.

“Having him back is good,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

“He missed the Fulham game from the start as playing two games [back-to-back] is dangerous in our situation.”

Defender Ozan Kabak is still a doubt.

The Reds’ 2-0 victory in their away leg against Leipzig is one of only two wins from their past eight games.

“I am happy to have this opportunity,” said Klopp.

“We have momentum in the Champions League. They [Leipzig] have a different momentum as they won the last four, but previous results don’t impact this game.”

Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League after a torrid run of form which has included six consecutive home defeats.

“You can always have a chance in the next game,” added Klopp whose side will be the designated ‘home’ team with the tie taking place in Budapest, Hungary, because of coronavirus restrictions.

“Consistency is the issue. It’s nothing to do with Anfield.”

Leipzig are aiming to make the Champions League quarter-finals for a second consecutive season, having reached the final four last campaign.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side are second in the Bundesliga, two points behind Bayern Munich, having won each of their past six league fixtures.

Leipzig are still without January signing Dominik Szoboszlai, with the former RB Salzburg midfielder yet to make his debut because of adductor problems.

‘Liverpool have 88% chance of qualifying’

Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis, Gracenote

“Liverpool’s first leg victory against Leipzig has increased their chance of winning the Champions League because the Reds are now favourites to reach the quarter-finals. This has raised the club’s chance of winning the competition to around 7%.

“This is still lower than earlier in the competition because of Liverpool’s spectacular fall in the Euro Club Indexexternal-link

. They have dropped from 2nd place in Europe at the turn of the year to 7th place now.

“Liverpool’s chance of a place in the last eight at the expense of Leipzig is now around 88% according to the Euro Club Index.”

Liverpool excel against German teams – the stats

  • Liverpool will be the third English opponent Leipzig have faced away from home in the Champions League since the start of last season (also Spurs and Man Utd), while they suffered their heaviest defeat in European competition against Man Utd at Old Trafford back in October (5-0).
  • This will be the 21st time Liverpool have hosted German opposition across all European competitions, while they are unbeaten in the previous 20 (W16, D4), scoring 52 goals and conceding just nine in return.
  • Only four of Leipzig’s 12 wins in the Champions League have been achieved by more than a one-goal margin (33%). However the last time they won by more than two goals in the knockout stages of the competition was against another English side in Spurs last season (3-0 in the round of 16 second leg).
  • Since his Borussia Dortmund side were beaten by Bayern Munich in the 2012-13 Champions League final, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is unbeaten in his three games against German opponents in the competition (W2 D1), with all three of those fixtures coming in the round of 16.
  • Leipzig’s Angelino has been directly involved in six of the team’s 11 goals in the Champions League this season (three goals and three assists) – only Marcel Sabitzer has previously directly contributed to more goals in a single season for the club in the competition (seven in 2019-20).