It's fair to say that RB Leipzig have had their fair share of luck in this season's Champions League draw. Their group was the most favourable in the competition (Benfica, Zenit, and Lyon) and then they played Spurs' ghost in the R16.
Atletico who have long been among the Top 5 clubs in Europe for over a decade will represent a massive step up for Nagelsmann and this young RB Leipzig side.
As we know, Timo Werner has moved to Chelsea which is a problem. Werner scored 34 goals and assisted 12 times this season. His fellow frontman Poulsen is also a doubt which leaves Patrik Schick as the only option tonight.
Schick hasn't played a ton this season, just 1,575 mins across all competition with 10 goals and 2 assists. In the UCL he's played 3 matches and failed to register a goal or assist (Spurs x 2 and Benfica) - His xG for the season also indicates a slight overperformance
The difference between the two is clear. With Werner RB Leipzig average 2.42 goals per 90 (all competitions) With Schick RB Leipzig only average 2.23 per 90. Anway for those of you who have watched RBL extensively this season you don't need me to tell how influential Werner is to this teams success in the final 3rd
RB Leipzig have only kept three clean sheets thus far despite their easy path to the quarter finals. These came against a depleted Spurs x 2 and against Zenit away (0.95xGA conceded)
How have RBL fared against the Top 4 in Germany (Bayern, BVB, and Gladbach)
- Gladbach 30.08.19 - Won 3-1 but conceded 1.8 xGA
- Bayern 14.09.19 - 1-1 draw - Even game with RBL converting from the penalty spot
- Dortmund 17.12.19 - 3-3 draw - Suicidal BVB performance, RBL very lucky to take anything from the match
- Gladbach 01.02.20 - 2-2 draw - RBL slightly better on the day but again another concerning performance at the back giving up 4 big chances that total 1.59xG
- Bayern 09.02.2020 - 0-0 draw but Bayern the better team generating 2.07xG
- Dortmund 20.06.20 - 2-0 loss and completely 2nd best against a weakened BVB XI
Although these clubs don't play like Atletico we can see a common trend, RBL give up a high amount of chances to higher quality opposition. They were also heavily reliant on Timo Werner stay competitive in these matches.
The same rings true for their UCL matches against stronger opponents this season (Benfica and Lyon) They conceded 2+ in 3 of their 4 matches. I'd have included Spurs in that category but we can't forget Spurs were without Harry Kane & Son Heung-min for both legs of the tie
It might surprise you that Atletico haven't been that bad in the chance creation department in the UCL this season, there numbers are on a par with the likes of Barcelona. As for LaLiga they were 4th best with a superior xG number to Sevilla.
Simeone has one of the best Champions League records in the history of the competition. He's unbeaten in 81.42% of matches (70 games). His side almost always find a way to score in these KO games too.
Although Atleti do have a reputation for struggling in front of goal, they actually generated the 4th highest xG in LaLiga, even higher than Sevilla. Add in the fact that Morata, Felix, and Costa are healthy we have reason to be optimistic
- Morata 0.66 xG+xA (0.65 actual Goals + Assists p90)
- João Félix 0.55xG +xA (0.4 actual Goals + Assists p90)
- Diego Costa 0.55xG +x A (0.52 actual Goals + Assists p90)
With that in mind I don't think Atleti will be particularly stunted going forward against this RBL side.
Over 1.5 Atletico Madrid goals at 2.63 with Unibet- 1 unit
With this being a neutral venue 1 legged match we should expect desperation to kick in if either team takes a lead. I know Atletico are not a team to take on for goals but this is a good spot in my opinion. RB Leipzig are far from water tight at the back and will get desperate late on if they are behind.
The perfect scenario is that Atleti take the lead and then RBL leaves holes at the back as they press high up the pitch looking for an equaliser.