Real Madrid are in an advantageous position going into the UEFA Champions League group stage clash with RB Leipzig on Tuesday night knowing full well that even a draw would see them topping Group F. With three wins and a draw from their four matches so far, Los Blancos are on top of the group with 10 points and are already through to the Round of 16.
RB Leipzig, meanwhile, are second in the group and trail the Madrid giants by four points. They will be looking for a favourable result that will allow them to join the knockout rounds of Europe’s premier continental competition.
Having played four Champions League matches so far, they have won twice and lost twice. With six points, they are second in the group and lead Shakhtar Donetsk in third by a single point. RB Leipzig management will have one eye on the Shakhtar game who travel to Celtic on Tuesday, with the Ukrainian outfit looking for their second victory in the section.
If the Ukrainian side does end up losing to Scotland, then Leipzig would practically confirm their progress to the Round of 16 stage if they end up beating Real Madrid at home.
Marco Rose’s side began proceedings in Group F campaign with consecutive losses to Shakhtar and Real Madrid, which put them in a tricky and complicated position in terms of reaching the next round, but they have responded with back-to-back wins over Celtic to move onto six points and take second place in the group.
Their final two group games are against both Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk and RB Leipzig are expected to face a considerable challenge here. These two matches will determine their ability to progress to the next round of the competition.
The German outfit are actually unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions, which includes a 3-3 draw with Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, which has left them down in eighth position in the table.
As far as Real Madrid are concerned, the defending Spanish and European champions have already secured their passage to the next round of the UEFA Champions League. They’ve managed to pick up 10 points from their opening four fixtures with the help of three wins and a loss.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side secured victories over Celtic, Leipzig, and Shakhtar in their opening three fixtures. However, they needed a stoppage time header from new signing Antonio Rudiger, who ended up hurting his face in the process, to secure a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar away from home in the last round of the competition. That stalemate proved to be enough for them to book their tickets to the knockout stages of the competition.
As already mentioned, the group leaders would be confirmed as group winners if they avoid a loss in this game, but they would have another chance to secure top spot against Celtic at Bernabeu on November 2 even if Leipzig manage to pull off a famous victory in front of their own supporters.
Real Madrid are still unbeaten in all competitions this season, and Saturday’s 3-1 win over Sevilla in La Liga saw them once again open up a six-point advantage over second-placed Barcelona in the table.
Ancelotti’s team have another five games before the campaign breaks for the 2022 World Cup, taking on Leipzig and Celtic in the Champions League, in addition to Girona, Rayo Vallecano and Cadiz in the league.
RBL vs RMA, UEFA Champions League 2022/23
Date: 26th October, 2022
Time: 12:30 AM IST
Venue: Red Bull Arena, Leipzig
RB Leipzig UEFA Champions League form:
RB Leipzig UEFA Champions League form (all competitions):
Real Madrid UEFA Champions League form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
RB Leipzig wins: 0
Real Madrid wins: 1
RB Leipzig Team News:
The home side are expected to miss several key players in this encounter. Lukas Klostermann, Marcel Halstenberg, Konrad Laimer and Peter Gulacsi have all been sidelined due to injury while Timo Werner will need a late fitness test to determine his chances of playing this game.
Rose’s side were trailing 3-0 in the contest against Augsburg on Sunday going into the final 20 minutes of the fixture. They clawed their way back and scored thrice thanks to Andre Silva and Christopher Nkunku, who are first choices on the team sheet and are sure to start here.
Amadou Haidara will also come back into the midfield on Tuesday night, but Yussuf Poulsen, Dani Olmo and Emil Forsberg could all miss out on starts in the final third of the field.
Real Madrid Team News:
Real Madrid, meanwhile, will miss the services of their 2022 Ballon d’Or winning star Karim Benzema after the Frenchman missed the previous clash with Sevilla due to muscular fatigue. Head coach Carlo Ancelotti has already confirmed that Benzema will not be available for the journey to Leipzig.
Dani Ceballos and Mariano Diaz will also miss out once again, but Thibaut Courtois made his return from injury against Sevilla and will again start between the sticks.
Ancelotti’s desire to secure first spot in the section should mean that a strong XI is named here, although there could be a change from Saturday’s side, with Rudiger potentially replacing Ferland Mendy.
Luka Modric and Federico Valverde have also been left out of the squad due to slight injury problems, so Marco Asensio could come in for a rare start, while Eduardo Camavinga is likely to feature in midfield.
RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Blaswich; Simakan, Orban, Gvardiol, Raum; Haidara, Schlager; Szoboszlai, Nkunku, Werner; A Silva
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba; Camavinga, Tchouameni, Kroos; Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius
RB Leipzig are in strong form as things stand. They showed tremendous spirit and determination to come back from 3-0 down to secure a point from their latest fixture with Augsburg in the last game. Christopher Nkuknku and his partnership with Andre Silva is expected to be their biggest asset in the final third against Real Madrid while a returning Timo Werner could also bolster the frontline.
With that being said, Los Blancos have been almost imperious over the last month and have eased their way to victories. Given their form, their ability to adapt to difficult situations as well as the pedigree of players they possess all over the park, it will be quite easy to back them to secure another victory here.
At most, Leipzig players and fans could probably hope for a draw, although an unlikely victory still seems unattainable.