RB Leipzig and Atletico Madrid return to Champions League action as they clash in Lisbon in the quarter-finals on Thursday. Both these teams reached the last eight before the coronavirus pandemic stuck, while this tie is a one-off fixture due to the outbreak.
Where and when: Estadio Jose Alvalade – 13 August, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see RB Leipzig vs. Atletico Madrid: BT Sport
Last time: This will be the first ever meeting between these teams, as one of the traditionally strong European clubs in Atletico face off against the newcomers of Leipzig.
RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid Predictions and Preview
Both RB Leipzig and Atletico Madrid find themselves in the quarter-finals of the Champions League due to outstanding performances in the last 16. Leipzig thrashed last season’s finalists Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on aggregate, while Atletico beat last year’s winners, Liverpool, courtesy of a thrilling extra-time performance in the second leg.
It’s been a long wait for both sides to get back into the swing of things on the continent, although they both managed to finish off their domestic campaigns, unlike other major European leagues. Leipzig did well to finish third in the Bundesliga behind only perennial winners Bayern Munich and perennial brides Borussia Dortmund.
Die Roten Bullen finished eight points clear of fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen, and secured their place in next season’s Champions League by an 11-point margin. Julian Nagelsmann’s exciting side have been a breath of fresh air both in Europe and in Germany, even if they aren’t to most football fans’ taste back in their homeland.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Atletico Madrid to win to nil
Atletico Madrid to win 1-0
Morata to score first
Nonetheless, any challengers to the Bayern Munich monopoly would be welcome from most onlookers abroad, and Leipzig could further enhance their stock across Europe with a victory over a team who’ve reached two of the last six Champions League finals.
Atletico find themselves deep in this competition once again, and even though they eventually finished a full 17 points behind local rivals and new La Liga champions Real Madrid, Diego Simeone’s side are a completely different proposition when it comes to knockout football.
Even worse for Leipzig, main attacking threat Timo Werner has left the club for Chelsea, depriving Die Bullen of their top scorer for the remainder of this tournament. Plus, the Germans have been out of competitive action since the Bundesliga finished at the end of June, giving them a break of almost seven weeks. That can’t be good for their match fitness, with Atletico’s final La Liga fixture just over three weeks ago.
Great at the back and always a threat on the break and from set pieces, as well as in possession, Atleti are the clear favourites for the win on Thursday. Los Rojiblancos are 11/8 to beat Leipzig inside 90 minutes, while the German outfit are 12/5 in the latest odds. This game is 9/4 to be all square at the end of normal time, with Atletico 4/6 to qualify and Leipzig 25/19.
One to watch for RB Leipzig: Apart from the departed Werner, Patrik Schick was the only Leipzig player to reach double figures in the Bundesliga this season. He is 7/1 to to step up to the plate here by scoring the opening goal.
One to watch for Atletico Madrid: Alvaro Morata scored double the number of goals any of his team mates managed in La Liga this season, adding a further three in seven Champions League appearances. That includes a dramatic late strike to put the final nail in Liverpool’s coffin, with Morata the 21/4 favourite to break the deadlock here.
Long shot: Atletico beat Liverpool 3-2 at Anfield back in March, just before the Covid-19 outbreak sent the world into lockdown. Leipzig may be without this season’s top scorer but they’re still an exciting attacking team, with another 3-2 victory for Atleti here priced at 40/1. Those odds rise to 186/1 with Morata as the first goalscorer.