Real Madrid head to Germany to take on RB Leipzig for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie and Carlo Ancelotti’s side are expected to maintain their perfect winning record in this season’s competition.
Real, fresh from moving five points clear of the top of La Liga with a 4-0 home win over nearest challengers Girona at the weekend, should have too much for Leipzig, who have lost three of their last five games.
Bullish Rose insists Leipzig are ‘not outsiders’
Speaking to the press prior to his team’s home leg against the Champions League’s most successful side, RB Leipzig head coach Marco Rose has insisted that his team are not outsiders – even if the betting odds suggest otherwise.
“The topic of us being outsiders wasn’t worth considering for me at all, because football games need to actually be played. Incredible things have happened in football. We are not afraid at all, we are looking forward to it.”
Such confidence may seem misplaced. Rose’s men come into the match on the back of a run of just one win from their last five games, while los Blancos took control of the La Liga title race over the weekend with that thumping victory over second-placed Girona.
And although he limped off the pitch in that win for Real Madrid, Rose isn’t ruling out the possibility of Jude Bellingham featuring in this game.
“I know Jude, I know he’ll do everything to play a Champions League game, even if it means that today he’s searching around to try and be treated by a doctor here. I’ve read plenty, but we’ll see.”
RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid Team news
Leipzig have no reported fresh injury worries, so boss Marco Rose has a virtually fully-fit squad to choose from on Tuesday.
Their one concern is over Amadou Haidara, as he missed the draw with Augsburg on Saturday with a minor knee injury and he may again be ruled out.
Jude Bellingham suffered an ankle injury after scoring twice in Real’s win over Girona and despite Marco Rose’s pre-match comments the England man looks set for a period on the sidelines, with Brahim Diaz likely to replace him.
Nacho Fernandez should have recovered from a muscle injury in time, but Antonio Rudiger remains out with a thigh issue.
Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois all remian on Real’s long-term absentee list.
RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid Predicted XIs
RB Leipzig (4-4-2): Gulacsi; Simakan, Lukeba, Orban, Raum; Olmo, Schlager, Kampl, Simons; Sesko, Openda.
Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Lunin; Carvajal, Nacho, Tchouameni, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga, Brahim Díaz; Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo.