Quarter-Final New Boys Leipzig face Mighty Madrid
Last updated: August 11, 2020 by Leon Marshal
|Kick-off:||Thursday, 13th August 20:00|
|Venue:||Estadio Jose Alvalade|
|Competition:||UEFA Champions League|
The two sides that sent packing last year’s all English finalists go head to head in the quarter-finals of the new look single-leg knockout format UEFA Champions League. RB Leipzig will feature for the first time at this stage of the tournament against three-time runners up Atletico Madrid.
With the level of experience and discipline in the way RB Leipzig have been playing, you can hardly tell this is just their second season playing European football. This has been a successful season so far, finishing third in the Bundesliga and boasting the second-best defence in the league conceding just 37. A figure only eclipsed by Bayern Munich, and an important aspect of their game as well as the great attacking flair that could give them the edge, especially coming against a very good defensive side.
They have been in great form since restart (four wins and four draws and one loss) and head to this encounter having not played a professional game in over a month.
Marcel Sabitzer scored a brace to inspire the thumping of Tottenham over the two legs with a four-nil aggregate to book their place at this stage for the first time in the club’s history. The English outfit was, however, missing some of the most important players such as Kane and Son but were completely dominated by the German outfit. Emil Forsberg, who scored their first-ever goal in the Champions League, has scored six goals (4 this season).
Timo Werner who made 44 goal contributions in 45 games this season including four goals in the Champions League will not feature for the club. The 24-year has elected to join Chelsea, and such is the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, this effectively means he is on gardening leave till next season. A shame as his goals has been vital to Leipzig getting to this stage.
Julian Nagelsmann became the youngest coach in history to reach the knockout phase of the Champions League at just 32y & 221d. Diego Simeone is 18-years older, has managed 479 more games and has won 7 more trophies.
Atletico Madrid has made it to three Champions League finals, two of them under Diego Simeone but has never won the prestigious competition. They knocked out the defending Champions in a balanced tie with Liverpool coming short in the goalkeeping department. Jan Oblak gave a man of the match performance while Adrian made two catastrophic howlers to ruin Liverpool quest to defend their title. The Spanish outfit beat the newly crowned Premier League Champions over the two legs to qualify with a 4 – 2 aggregate with the most iconic 3 – 2 win at Anfield a big achievement that will give them the momentum going forward.
They are unbeaten in 18 games since 1st February and finished third in Spain’s La Liga.
Atletico is having an indifferent transitional season with the Spanish giants with high-profile players departing the club, particularly in defence, and losing arguably their best player this decade, Antoine Griezmann.
£113m man João Félix was prophesied to be a big hit since making his big-money move from Benfica but has only managed eight goals and three assists in 29 appearances and has suffered from a niggling ankle injury in his debut season. Alvaro Morata has been their most lethal attacker this campaign with 15 goals; he will marshal the offence in their continuing quest for European glory.
Atletico Madrid has scored just 47 league goals and 12 in the Champions League this season despite having the likes of Diego Costa, Joao Felix, and Alvaro Morata in their ranks. Despite being goal-shy, they are the favourites coming into this encounter with a great side with plenty of experience. The winner of this tie will be in the semi-final against either PSG or another surprise package, Atlanta.
Sabitzer (four goals and two assists) and Forsberg (4 goals and one assist) are the best tallies for Leipzig.
Leipzig knocked out last season’s finalists, Tottenham, by beating them both home and away and their opponents did the same to the other finalists Liverpool.
Atletico Madrid has featured in three finals in the Champions League, two under their current manager Diego Simeone.
They are on a run of 18 unbeaten games in all competition that dates back to 1st February with a very strong and solid backline.
|Leipzig (3-4-2-1):||Gulacsi, Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenbeg, Mukiele, Sabitzer, Kampl, Angelino, Forsbeg, Schick, Nkunku|
|Subs:||Mvogo, Tschauner, Orbam, Konate, Haidara, Adams, Olmo, Krauss|
|Atletico Madrid (4-3-2-1):||Oblak, Trippier, Gimenez, Hermoso, Lodi, Thomas, Saul, Koke, Llorente, Felix, Morata|
|Subs:||Adan, Saponjic, Costa, Sanchez, Lemar, Savic, Herrera, Vitolo, Arias, Sanchez, Garcia|
So Far This Season
|Leipzig This Season||Atletico Madrid This Season|
|5 (3)||Wins (away)||5 (2)|
|3– 0 v Spurs||Biggest Win||2 – 0 v Lokomotiv Moscow|
|2 (1)||Draws (away)||1 (0)|
|0 – 2 v Lyon||Biggest Defeat||0 – 1 v Juventus|
|Sabizter (4)||Top Goal Scorer||Morata (2)|
|Y16, R0||Discipline||Y14, R0|
|1||Failures to Score||1|
|50%||Both Teams to Score Games||38%|
|63%||Over 2.5 Goals||38%|
|37%||Under 2.5 Goals||62%|
- RB Leipzig is new to the European scene; this will be their first encounter with the Spanish giants.
- Both sides are in great form as Simeone’s men have not lost since the restart while Nagelsmann’s side has lost just once.
- Joao Felix will have a chance to justify his £113 million price tag, and he could prove to be the missing piece of the puzzle to go all the way for Atletico, having failed to finish the job in three finals.
- Sabizter, who inspired Leipzig to the win against Spurs, is their main man in front of goal with four goals in the competition.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Few clubs have had a more astonishing story than RB Leipzig. Originally a fifth-tier side called SSV Markranstädt, energy drink maker Red Bull bought the club, and within seven years they had reached the pinnacle of German football by winning promotion to the Bundesliga. It’s been a rapid rise for the club, built on a solid defence with attacking players.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico has often beaten the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga and has won domestic trophies and the Europa League. Still, they seem to always fail in Europe’s biggest competition and have felt the pain of losing three times in the final. Will this be third-time lucky for the manager who has lost two of them?
Everyone predicts a Madrid win here, but we are not sure! Timo Werner’s move to Chelsea has weakened Leipzig for sure, but the German team has some excellent youngsters such as Hwang Hee-chan. The Spanish duo of Angelino and Dani Olmo has impressed, and Forsberg’s return to the starting line-up after suffering from tonsillitis is a boost. Leipzig is 11/5 @ bet365 to win the game in normal time or 11/10 to qualify.