The European knockout games are coming thick and fast at the moment, with the Champions League and Europa League both back in full swing. On Thursday, it’s the turn of RB Leipzig and Atletico Madrid. The two sides meet for their UCL quarter-final at Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon, Portugal.
Can Leipzig cope without recently-departed Timo Werner? Or will Atletico reach their fourth Champions League semi-final in eight years? You can find my RB Leipzig vs. Atletico Madrid prediction and betting pick below.
RB Leipzig vs. Atletico Madrid Odds
RB Leipzig to Win3.10
The Draw 3.10
Atletico Madrid to Win 2.38
This is Leipzig’s first appearance in the knockout stages of the Champions League, so I’m not shocked to see the German club as the bookies’ outsider here. However, you’d be foolish to write off Julian Nagelsmann’s side altogether. Given their know-how in this tournament, Atletico is the favorite to advance to the last four.
Let’s take a closer look at both teams and assess their chances.
RB Leipzig vs. Atletico Madrid Preview
RB Leipzig suffered just one defeat on their way to finishing top of UCL Group G. The German side scored exactly two goals in five of their six group games earlier in the campaign, ending up ahead of Lyon, Benfica, and Zenit. Sure, their group-stage performances were good. But the manner with which Leipzig saw off Tottenham in the Round of 16 was hugely impressive. Nagelsmann’s men claimed a 1-0 win in England before crushing Spurs 3-0 on home soil.
Still, Leipzig’s domestic campaign didn’t end well. The club was in contention for the Bundesliga title when the season was suspended in March. But when soccer returned, the Red Bulls only managed to win four of their final nine league games. Timo Werner racked up 34 goals and 13 assists in all competitions in 2019/20. However, the lethal forward recently joined Chelsea. It’s fair to say that Leipzig won’t be the same force without him.
By contrast, a remarkable 16-game unbeaten run saw Atletico Madrid finish third in La Liga. Diego Simeone’s side won seven of their final ten league games and kept six clean sheets along the way. Earlier in the season, it looked as though Atletico was in danger of finishing outside the top four for the first time since 2011/12. But the team was almost unstoppable during the second half of the campaign.
Los Colchoneros progressed from a tricky Champions League group, finishing behind Juventus but ahead of Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow, while a 4-2 aggregate victory over reigning European champion Liverpool in the previous round proves that Atletico is capable of beating the continent’s elite clubs. The Spaniards will surely be confident of building on their outstanding Round of 16 win and reaching the semi-finals.
RB Leipzig vs. Atletico Madrid Prediction and Pick
Pelicans to Win
Leipzig has dazzled everyone with their attacking approach this season, although I’m confident that Atletico’s experience will get the Spanish side over the line on Thursday. This is destined to be a cagey encounter between two well organized teams, but I’m backing Atletico to come out on top.