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The Champions meets again with the magic of the Bernabéu

Vinicius. / Thomas Coex (Afp)

Group F | Matchday 2

Real Madrid calibrates Marco Rose’s new Leipzig in the temple of the epic comebacks that sponsored the Fourteenth

Oscar Bellot

The Champions League returns to the Santiago Bernabéu. The temple of Chamartín, scene last year of that series of epic comebacks that stunned the world and catapulted Real Madrid to the Fourteenth in Paris, reopens its doors in the highest continental competition to calibrate Marco Rose’s new Leipzig. The German team, whose win on the first day at the hands of Shakhtar sealed the dismissal of Domenico Tedesco and his replacement by the one who until a few months ago was coach of Borussia Dortmund, trusts that the change of guard on the bench will allow him to redirect his career in the star tournament of European football and does not give up giving the bell in the lair of the king of the continent, despite the fact that he arrives at the appointment with cruising speed.

“It is an important match for the group classification against a team that had problems at the beginning of the season. In the last game against Dortmund he did very well, he has top quality and fast players”, Ancelotti warned before his team faced the one who, a priori, started out as the whites’ most reputable opponent when the draw was made, but that he suffered a stormy start to the campaign that had as especially conflicting points the resounding defeats he conceded in the space of four days against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga (4-0) and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League (1-4) . Two goals as blushing as they were unexpected that finalized the Tedesco project and led the Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz, owner of the energy drink empire that supports the Teutonic club, to throw himself into the arms of a more conservative coach in the hope of refloating the ship.

The relief of helmsman was a saint’s hand for Leipzig last weekend in the Bundesliga. The red bulls passed the revalidation against Borussia Dortmund with flying colors with goals from Orban, Szoboszlai and Haidara, and were filled with morale to visit the flamboyant stadium that months ago devoured PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City. For this reason, Ancelotti does not lower his guard. “Leipzig have a very dangerous forward line. Not just Werner. Nkunku did very well last season and is doing very well this season. Szoboszlai as well. Forsberg has a lot of experience. It is a very dangerous team when you give them the opportunity to show the quality of it. The defensive aspect will be very important for us, but also the offensive one, “advised the Reggiolo coach.

Rodrygo, spearhead

Ancelotti, who will celebrate his silver jubilee as coach on Saturday in a competition in which he is a totemic figure with the four gold medals he has won at the helm of Milan and Real Madrid, faces the unprecedented Champions League duel against Leipzig with the panorama clear, beyond the casualties due to injury to Militao, Lucas Vázquez and Benzema. To these absences it is possible to add the neighborhood of a derby in the Metropolitan that will suppose the first litmus test for the whites’ league ambitions. But, after the victory against Celtic in Scotland, the champion can afford to measure efforts because he also has an extraordinary wardrobe and everything works out for him.

Ancelotti clears balls with Mbappé:

After scoring his first goal for Real Madrid against Mallorca, Rüdiger will make up for the absence of Militao at the center of the defense with the delicate mission of holding down Werner and Nkunku, two attackers who were in the Whites’ orbit. Carvajal and Modric, substitutes on Sunday, will return to the eleven as will Tchouaméni, who has just enjoyed his first break of the course. Kroos could enter the rotation turn to open space for Camavinga and enable a midfield with an accentuated physical profile that counteracts Leipzig’s transitions. Rodrygo, who revolutionized Real Madrid’s attack last weekend when Ancelotti repositioned him as a false nine, is emerging as the spearhead of the attack, with the also highly connected Valverde and Vinicius flanking the player from São Paulo.

The Austrian midfielder Konrad Laimer, injured against Borussia Dortmund, and the Spanish international Dani Olmo, convalescing from a partial rupture of the internal ligament of his left knee, are the most sensitive casualties presented by a Leipzig that no longer has those daggers for the bands were one of his main threats in the times of Julian Nagelsmann, but he tries to take cover with a defense of four led by the Croatian Gvardiol and whose lack of automatism explains, in part, his gray opening of the campaign. Despite this, upstairs is brimming with poison with the quality of Szoboszlai, Forsberg’s experience, Nkunku’s speed and Werner’s nose.

Likely lineups

  • Real Madrid:
    Courtois, Carvajal, Rüdiger, Alaba, Mendy, Tchouaméni, Modric, Camavinga, Valverde, Rodrygo and Vinicius.

  • Leipzig:
    Gulacsi, Simakan, Guardiol, Orban, Raum, Kampl, Schlager, Nkunku, Forsberg, Szoboszlai and Werner.

  • Referee:
    Maurizio Mariani (Italy).

  • Hour:
    21:00 h.

  • Estadio:
    Santiago Bernabeu.

  • TV:
    Movistar Champions League.

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