The second clash of the quarterfinals is upon us. Today RB Leipzig hypothetically hosts Atlético Madrid at Sporting’s Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. Leipzig faces an uphill battle, playing against Diego Simeone’s famously gritty defense without their leading scorer, Timo Werner, who has already transferred to Chelsea FC.
Things look bleak for RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann. Taking Leipzig into their first-ever appearance in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, Nagelsmann has to do without the main man who helped them get their, Timo Werner. As is well known, Leipzig allowed Werner to transfer to Chelsea FC for a transfer fee of approximately €53 million.
In addition to Werner, his former partner up front Yussuf Poulsen is also doubtful. Poulsen missed the end of Leipzig’s Bundesliga campaign after injuring his ankle. Austrian midfielder Marcel Sabitzer and German left-back Marcel Halstenberg have also struggled with fitness recently.
Simeone meanwhile has his pick of starters. Only Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko have been ruled out after they tested positive for COVID-19 days ago. They will not be missed. It is Atlético’s great good fortune that no other players caught the disease.
Perhaps Nagelsmann will hit on the right idea to upset Atlético and advance to the semifinals, but an upset it will be. Madrid is heavily favored to crush Leipzig with their superior attacking players and suffocating defense.
Location: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal
Time: 8:00 pm local time, 3:00 pm EST
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