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Real Madrid
RB Leipzig
F. Valverde (80), M. Asensio (90)

Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig preview: Team news and predicted lineups

By Rafael Garrido Reinoso   @RGarrido2210

After a great performance in their first match under Marco Rose, Die Roten Bullen visit the current Champions League champions, Real Madrid, with the hopes of taking at least a point. It will be the first time in history that Real Madrid and RB Leipzig will play each other.
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Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0
New RB Leipzig head coach Marco Rose already showed his intentions against the BVB, using his 4-4-2 diamond formation with Schlager at the base and the duo Nkunku-Werner up front.

Leipzig took advantage of the duo's speed and attacked Dortmund's defense with a lot of through balls into the half-spaces and long passes behind the defensive line. Without the ball Leipzig were very solid and calm, limiting Dortmund’s threat.

It's almost certain Rose will repeat the formula at the Bernabeu. The starting XI will depend on the players injured in the match against BVB. Laimer is out of the squad, while Simakan and Henrichs also finished the game against BVB with some problems. With Olmo still out, it's almost certain Forsberg and Schlager will start along with Szobozslai and Kampl in the midfield diamond.

There are more doubts regarding the defensive line, with Gvardiol posing as the favorite to be Orban’s companion in the center of the defense instead of Diallo and Simakan playing on the right side of defence if he’s fit enough.

It will be interesting to see if Rose decides to apply any variations whether tactically or with the selection of the starting XI.

The champions

Real Madrid are the only team in the top leagues that have won all of their matches this season and have sights on their 15th Champions League.

Los Blancos arrive after a great comeback victory against RCD Mallorca in a game full of rotations from Carlo Ancelotti's side.

The Italian manager rested new star signing Aurélien Tchouameni, while Luka Modrić and Carvajal entered the pitch in the second half. Nacho also entered the pitch in the second half as a substitute for Ferland Mendy.

There's a possibility of the Spanish veteran playing instead of Mendy and Alaba filling the left-back spot, although with the speed Werner and Nkunku have, it seems safer to think Mendy will start.

The Spanish club will miss UEFA player of the year Karim Benzema, Lucas Vasquez, and starting centre-back Eder Militao.

Los Blancos are not untouchable, but they pack superb hitting power and are incredibly used to resisting difficult situations.

Real Madrid will also have an eye on their Sunday clash against their derby rivals of Atlético de Madrid.

The face-off

• Marco Rose seemed comfortable with his side sitting in their own half and waiting to exploit the quick transitions, he'll surely repeat the formula on Wednesday, as Madrid will dominate the ball and overload the attacking zones down the flanks.

• During recent matches, Los Blancos have been pressing higher than usual at times with the presence of Tchouameni and the never-tired Fede Valverde.

• The Frenchman gives a very physical and strong defensive presence, but is still lacking the experience and the presence of mind to play as a lone holding midfielder.

• Actually, when the trio of Modric, Tchouameni, and Kroos is playing, it's the German who tends to be the deep-lying midfielder who stays close to the center-backs.

• This could create a possible opportunity for Nkunku and Werner to attack the spaces behind the possible pair of Rüdiger and Alaba, although they are both a lot faster than Süle and Schlotterbeck, who Leipzig's striking duo faced last time.

• David Raum must take advantage of Dani Carvajal as the weakest link of Madrid’s defense. Both forwards should also attack his back; despite the great help from Valverde, Carvajal still struggles defensively.

• The lack of a number 9 with Benzema's injury can be a blessing in disguise for Madrid against Die Roten Bullen. Leipzig's defense has proven to be very solid against a very static number 9, who tends to be more of a reference for the defenders, than against one that’s mobile.

• The presence of Rodrygo as a false 9 with several position exchanges between him, Vini Jr, and Fede Valverde can create voids and confusion in Leipzig’s defense.

• One of the keys for Leipzig will be to hold Vinicius off.

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