Champions League: Real test for RB Leipzig - "Go there with a big smile"

Champions League
Real test for RB Leipzig - "Go there with a big smile"

Leipzig has to do without Konrad Laimer for the time being.  Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa

Leipzig has to do without Konrad Laimer for the time being. photo

© Jan Woitas/dpa

In Real Madrid, RB Leipzig currently has the toughest opponent in the Champions League. RB needs something countable after the false start against Donetsk. But right now a very important player is missing.

The business trip to Madrid began for RB Leipzig with bad news. The DFB Cup winner will have to do without his midfield pillar Konrad Laimer for a longer period of time.

An injury to the syndesmosis ligament in the left ankle not only prevents the Austrian national soccer player from playing in the Champions League game on Wednesday (9 p.m. / DAZN). real Madrid. The 25-year-old will miss the team of new coach Marco Rose for weeks.

The people of Leipzig don't have time to lament. After the gala against Borussia Dortmund the most difficult of all conceivable tests is coming up for the defending champion of the European premier class. The appearance at Real will answer the question of whether the 3-0 win against the German runners-up is just a snapshot, a reaction to the change of coach or a sustainable return to the old RB mentality.

Werner praises Rose

Domenico Tedesco's successor Rose had already announced after the perfect debut against his ex-club that "the second step is the more difficult one". It remains to be seen whether the wondrous transformation will unleash further powers. The fast-paced offensive football under Rose is at least to Timo Werner's taste.

"His style of play suits us very well," said the international, who reached the quarter-finals of the premier club in April in a 3-2 win for his old club Chelsea in Madrid met. In Spain's capital there is also a reunion with his former Chelsea colleague Antonio Rüdiger. The defender recently scored his first goal in a Real jersey in the 4-1 win against Mallorca.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti's team got off to a perfect start to the season with five wins in their first five competitive games. Striker Vinicius Júnior in particular is in spectacular form: the Brazilian has scored in all five games. But Leipzig does not want to be deterred and relies on the spirit of the Dortmund game. "We're doing exactly the same thing," said attacker Dominik Szoboszlai. Xaver Schlager, who won the Champions League for junior teams with Salzburg in 2017 with Amadou Haidara and Coach Rose, emphasized: "We're going there with a big smile."

Forsberg as driver

Tactically, it could be a good fit that Madrid, with 2014 world champion Toni Kroos, relies on possession football. Werner and Christopher Nkunku should use passes from Emil Forsberg with their speed when they win the ball.

The Swedish national player, under ex-coach Tedesco only the second choice behind the currently injured Dani Olmo, immediately took on the role of playmaker against Dortmund. Even Rose wasn't surprised. "The guys have that in the tank," he said. He wants to continue playing at pace so that his professionals can bring their "playful quality" to the pitch.

With his former club Borussia Mönchengladbach, Rose lost 2-0 in Madrid in December 2020 to a header brace from Karim Benzema after a 2-2 draw at home. The French world champion was one of the guarantors for the next Champions League title last season and has already scored three times in the new league season. In the premier class, Real started a week ago with a confident 3-0 win at Celtic Glasgow.

The expected lineups:

Real Madrid: Courtois - Vázquez, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy - Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos - Rodrygo, Hazard, Vinícius Júnior

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi - Simakan, Orban, Diallo, Raum - Haidara, Schlager - Nkunku, Forsberg, Szoboszlai - Werner

Referee: Mariani (Italy)


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