A unique Champions League quarter-final will help newcomers from RB Leipzig take on Atletico Madrid, manager Julian Nagelsmann has said.
The Bundesliga team have never made the knockout stage and face a side from Atleti who have reached the final twice in the past six years.
“They’ve got a lot of experience over two sets, but anything can happen in one game,” Nagelsmann said.
“We will all be thrown into cold water because of this situation. ”
The winners of the quarter-final in Lisbon will face Paris St-Germain in the last four.
Leipzig will not have Timo Werner available after signing at Chelsea for £ 54million.
Werner has scored 34 goals in all competitions as Nagelsmann’s side finished third in the Bundesliga.
“We don’t have Werner and I won’t say who will start,” Nagelsmann said.
“But we have players who didn’t play when Werner was here and who will now have their chance. ”
Atletico coach Diego Simeone has told his side to forget about the pre-lockdown victory at Anfield which knocked out former champions Liverpool.
“Many months have passed, and all the excitement and turmoil that arose after the win over Liverpool has subsided a bit because of the more than 100 days we have been in quarantine,” he said. .
“Then, with La Liga, everything seems far away now. This victory will remain a part of Atletico Madrid’s history. But now a new journey begins.
“I’ll say it again: tomorrow it’s not important to win, it’s the only thing you can do. We will prepare for the game this way. ”
Atletico forward Angel Correa and defender Sime Vrsaljko tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of Thursday’s game.
Players isolate themselves at home and miss the rest of the tournament.
The two positive cases were discovered after players and staff traveling to Lisbon were tested in Madrid on Saturday.
Players and staff have since been retested with all negative results.
Goals on the way? Statistics
- Atletico Madrid have always progressed against the German opposition in the round of 16 of the Champions League (against Leverkusen in 2014-15 and 2016-17; against Bayern Munich in 2015-16). At the time of the European Cup (before 1992-93), the only time they didn’t win was in the 1974 final against Bayern Munich (1-1; 0-4 replay).
- None of RB Leipzig’s 14 Champions League games have ended in a goalless draw. They have kept a clean sheet in three of their last five games, having failed to keep a single one in any of their previous nine.
- Four of RB Leipzig’s last eight Champions League goals have come from the penalty spot. In fact, only Atalanta (5) have benefited from more penalties than Leipzig (4) in this season’s competition.
- No German team apart from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have reached the Champions League semi-finals since Schalke in 2010-11.
- Atletico Madrid will look to become the first team since Real Madrid in 2013-14 to both beat the Champions League holders and win the tournament in the same season. They have also played the most Champions League / European Cup finals without ever winning one (3 finals, 0 trophy).
- Since the start of 2019, 12 of Atletico Madrid’s 14 Champions League goals have been scored after half-time.
- 53% of Alvaro Morata’s goals in the Champions League were scored in the round of 16 (8 out of 15). The Atletico Madrid striker’s eight goals in the round of 16 since 2013-14 are more than any other Spanish player during this span.
- Emil Forsberg has scored four of RB Leipzig’s last eight goals in the Champions League. All four goals came within 10 minutes of opening or closing the game.