RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid

RB Leipzig’s bid to reach the Champions League knockout stages for the third time in four years is potentially at stake as defending champions Real Madrid arrive at the Red Bull Arena.

Leipzig’s decision to part company with Domenico Tedesco in the wake of a 2-0 loss at Real Madrid in the reverse group fixture has turned the team’s fortunes around. New manager Marco Rose has cancelled out a dreadful two-game losing Group F start by leading ‘Die Roten Bullen’ to a brace of two-goal margin wins over Celtic. After seizing control of the runner-up spot, Leipzig could progress into the round of 16 should they avenge their defeat in Spain and third-placed Shakhtar Donetsk slump in Glasgow to Celtic. Rose wouldn’t mind another clean sheet following a 2-0 victory at Parkhead last time out, but that’s a feat his men have achieved just twice in 16 Champions League home fixtures.

In the meantime, Real Madrid are primed to prevent Leipzig from winning three successive Champions League games for the second time in club history after going unbeaten in their opening four Group F outings (W3, D1). Despite reaching the competition’s knockout phase for the 26th consecutive season with two games to spare, ‘Los Blancos’ won’t be out to make friends after winning their last four Champions League away matches without conceding. Moreover, Carlo Ancelotti’s men have only lost once on their eight previous Champions League road trips to meet German clubs (W5, D2) and ran out 3-1 victors over fellow La Liga rivals Sevilla at the weekend. That success bookends Madrid’s jaw-dropping 16-game unbeaten start to the new season (W14, D2), highlighting the seize of Leipzig’s task at hand.

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