Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid: Predictions, betting tips, odds & match preview
Atletico Madrid will be facing the full force of a Red Bull-fuelled attack when they play RB Leipzig as part of a hectic Champions League quarter-final schedule.
Can Los Colchoneros rebuke with a defensive performance that’ll fizzle the hosts attack out? Or will Julian Nagelsmann’s men orchestrate a victory of their own? Take a read of our predictions below and soak up our thoughts…
Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid Preview
RB Leipzig were only formed a mere decade ago, they’ve certainly made a quick rise to the pinnacle of both the Bundesliga, and Champions League.
Tottenham were to find out about their capabilities in the recent RO16 clashes, where, over two legs, the Die Roten Bullen exposed the chinks in Jose Mourinho’s armour.
The man to kick-start the examination of flaws in the Spurs defence was Marcel Sabitzer, whose opener at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium left the North Londoners at sixes and fours.
Yet, even with only a goal in the game, Spurs were unable to launch a comeback in the second-leg at the Redbull Arena. Instead, they caved twice allowing for a Sabitzer brace to peg them back even further.
Emil Forsberg then scored with his first touch after coming off the bench to give Leipzig a 4-0 aggregate win, sealing Spurs’ fate to more misery in the Champions League.
This week’s opponents, Atletico Madrid, may not have had an easy victory in their own RO16 clashes against last season’s holders, Liverpool, but the final verdict was still the same.
Indeed, it was a dramatic second leg at Anfield that unfolded after a tetchy first-leg 1-0 win at the Wanda Metropolitano. Jurgen Klopp’s men thought they had overturned the deficit via Roberto Firmino’s first goal on home turf at the start of extra time, with Georginio Wijnaldum’s first-half opener also a relief for the hosts.
Yet as Champions League quarter-final football beckoned for the Reds, Allison Becker’s understudy Adrian made a dreadful clearance allowing Marcos Llorente to pounce and break the Merseysiders’ hearts.
Llorente then struck again to well and truly deny Liverpool from retaining the trophy in successive years, providing his team safe passage to this week’s quarterfinal where they face Leipzig.
18+ Only. Terms and Conditions Apply. Odds correct at time of writing.
Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid Predictions
For a side that has very little history, financial power, and experience behind them, Leipzig are still operating as betting favourites, – solely down to the squad depth, formation, and attacking system that Nagelsmann – a.k.a ‘baby Mourinho’ – utilises.
From bottom up, where impressive centre-back Dayot Upamecano has been unavailable, Ethan Ampadu has been able to fill in with relative ease and lead a back three to plenty of wins.
With Sabitzer and Konrad Laimer then sitting just ahead of the back three, the channel from defence to attack is a seamless one, with flank play from Werner and Christopher Nkunku only enhancing that further.
As such, a seamless attacking unit that have swept aside the likes of Tottenham, and last season far more compelling opposition, with ease is what the Leipzig bring to the table.
Sure, Diego Simeone and his men are made of stern stuff; they won’t just let the Die Roten Bullen this Thursday.
Leipzig will need to keep an eye on their visitors’ early scoring antics, followed by a very Mourinho-esque habit of shutting up shop, as they did against Liverpool, truly stifling their opponents and starving them of goalscoring opportunities. The very concept of conceding is something that the men from Madrid do not entertain. Instead, the focus is very much on racking up the goals.
One man capable of doing that goes by the name Llorente, who scored a brace against Liverpool, becoming only the second Atletico player to score twice off the bench in a Champions League game. With the forward very much in great European form, there is every chance that he’ll make the perfect anytime scorer punt.
But here’s where this well-drilled team falter: when they do concede, Los Colchoneros often sometimes have to switch formation and utilise their fullbacks, drawing out the central midfield, and creating opportunities for a break which Leipzig will lap up with relish.
And with a powerful counterattacking lineup on hand to cause some damage to the defensive, Thomas Partey-led midfield, the odds about a win for the German team, especially with our forecasts and predictions on hand, are far more attractive than another stringent display from Atletico.
So, the RB Leipzig fairy-tale continues into the Champions League semifinals, at least according to our tipsters and writers.
Both teams possess just as much firepower as the other…
Squawka Stat: Leipzig’s Sabitzer has been directly involved in eight goals in his last 10 Champions League appearances (four goals, four assists).
This Tottenham-slaying, goalscoring midfielder with killer ninja free-kick abilities has been turning heads left, right and centre. Mostly Simeone’s (presumably) ahead of this Thursday’s quarter-final clash.
If he passes a late fitness test, Sabitzer is definitely a man who could be the difference in the attacking third, especially having levelled up this season thanks to Nagelsmann’s request for the 26-year-old to play a bigger role in the scoring, a task he’s seemed to take personally, both domestically and in European waters.
From his pin-point shooting against Zenit St Petersburg in the group stages that echoed shades of David Beckham through to a driving dribbling ability akin to that of Yaya Toure that’s earned him four goals and two assists in his last 10 Champions League games, if there’s one man to break the deadlock and trump the goalscoring betting markets its him.
Combine the technicality that Sabitzer brings off the left flank, with the offensive attributes of Leipzig still possess despite the loss of Timo Werner, and you have a very efficient attacking contingent that’ll pose Partey and Co. quite the challenge.
Sabitzer at his most potent, coming off the right flank…