Tonight, the second quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League will see German side RB Leipzig take on Spanish side Atletico Madrid in Portugal at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
The two sides will meet tonight for the very first time in each of the club’s history and it will also be the first time in history that RB Leipzig will play against a Spanish team.
This is going to be the first time that Leipzig will be playing in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals while for Atletico Madrid, this will be their fifth time in the last seven years, something that can only be bettered by Barcelona and Germany champions Bayern Munich.
The last 5 encounters against Germany opposition in the last phases of European football, Atletico Madrid has managed to win four times and only losing a final against Bayern Munich in 1974. Atletico has managed to beat Bayer Leverkusen in 2014/15 and 16/17 seasons while also dispatching Bayern Munich 2015/16 season.
Atletico Madrid will be without two of their players Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko both of who are first-team players for Deigo Simeone. The taste will be on replacing them.
RB Leipzig will be without their top scorer Timo Werner who chose to quit and join the English side, Chelsea. Of course, there had been hoping by Leipzig that they could have Timo help them in all Champions League remaining games.
Champions League Returns Tonight with RB Leipzig Taking on Atletico
Leipzig are a team that rather play attacking brand of football while Atletico Madrid is more of a defensive team. Nigelsman and his team have to be careful that Atletico doesn’t score first because it will be hard for them to get back into the game. Alvaro Morata has been the difference for Atletico Madrid going forward which could be a massive challenge for Upamecano and Klostermann will have to do a lot in the midfield.
Going forward, Forsberg and Schick might need to prove that they are the go-to guys for Nigelsman in the absence of Timo Werner. While Sabitzer and Kampl’s midfield will have to contend with a strong pairing of Saul, Koke, and Partey.
For Leipzig, any stage further than the quarter-finals will be looked at as success but for Atletico Madrid, the goal is to go all the way and win the Champions seeing as they missed out on both La Liga and Copa Del Rey.
Domestically, both teams have had contrasting campaigns ever since the project restart. While RB Leipzig struggled with form since return from the break, Atletico Madrid who once flirted outside top 5, found themselves making the UCL for net season comfortably.
But this is a one-match scenario. There is no home and away advantage meaning that a performance today can guarantee one qualification for the semifinals.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.