Having snatched a narrow lead to take back to the Spanish capital, Los Blancos will fancy their chances of UEFA Champions League progression. We look ahead to their second leg with our Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig prediction and preview.

Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Real Madrid are the favourites on Wednesday, overcoming RB Leipzig in 90 minutes in 57.3% of pre-match simulations by the Opta supercomputer.
  • Madrid have only failed to progress from one of their last 20 two-legged ties in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages after winning the first leg.
  • Leipzig haven’t won any of their last six games in the knockout stages of the Champions League (D1 L5).

Match Preview

Despite suffering a barrage of RB Leipzig attacks, Real Madrid have a slender 1-0 lead to defend when the Bundesliga side return to the Spanish capital for the second leg of an enticing UEFA Champions League last-16 tie at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on Wednesday.

Leipzig 0-1 Real Madrid first leg UCL

Leipzig fell to a narrow defeat on home turf at the Red Bull Arena earlier in February, despite managing nine shots on target against Andriy Lunin. That was the German side’s most such efforts on goal in a Champions League knockout game, while it also marked the most Madrid have faced in the competition since their 2022 final victory over Liverpool (also nine).

Andriy Lunin saves vs RB Leipzig

Benjamin Sesko had four of those chances against Lunin, with only two players managing more in a Champions League game this season (Julián Álvarez for Manchester City v Crvena Zvezda and Erling Haaland for the Citizens against Young Boys, both five), but Brahim Díaz’s 48th-minute finish proved the difference in Germany. Díaz has registered three goal involvements (two goals, one assist) in his last four appearances in this competition, one more than he managed in his previous 14 (two).

Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti will hope the attacking burden can be taken away from Díaz, Rodrygo and Vinícius Júnior on Wednesday, with Jude Bellingham returning in Sunday’s controversial 2-2 La Liga draw against Valencia after his ankle injury earlier in the month. Bellingham was sent off after the full-time whistle at the weekend for dissent towards the referee, who ended the game as the Madrid midfielder was heading Díaz’s right-wing centre in for what was thought to be a late winner.

Antonio Rüdiger and loanee striker Joselu have also recently returned from spells on the sidelines, though goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and experienced centre-back pairing David Alaba and Éder Militão remain out.

Despite missing several key players, Madrid could achieve their longest ever winning run in a single campaign in the competition (also won their first seven in 2014-15, under Ancelotti) if they record an eighth successive win in this year’s Champions League on Wednesday.

The odds are in the hosts’ favour, too, considering Los Blancos have only failed to progress from one of their last 20 two-legged ties in the Champions League knockout stages after winning the first leg, with that sole instance coming against Ajax in 2018-19 in the round of 16 (won 2-1 away in the first leg, lost 4-1 in the second leg).

As for Tuesday’s visitors, Leipzig have been eliminated on the last two occasions when failing to win the first leg in a knockout stage tie in the competition, with both of those coming in the round of 16, against Liverpool in 2020-21 and Manchester City in 2022-23.

Leipzig forward Sesko impressed without scoring in the opening meeting and could become the youngest visiting player to score in a Champions League knockout stage game at the Bernabéu since Leroy Sané in March 2015, for Schalke as a 19-year-old.

The visitors found their shooting boots on Saturday at least, crushing Bochum in a 4-1 Bundesliga away victory as Dani Olmo, Loïs Openda and Yussuf Poulsen were all on target along with an Ivan Ordets own goal.

As for Marco Rose’s team news, Amadou Haidara has brushed off concerns over a knee injury to feature in recent weeks, unlike centre-back Lukas Klostermann who has been hampered by a persistent thigh issue. Makeshift cover Mohamed Simakan will be absent through suspension, too, though Leipzig will still have experienced captain Willi Orbán and returning goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi to call upon.

Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig Head-to-Head

Madrid have won two of their three games against Leipzig in the Champions League (L1), while the only previous meeting between the two sides at the Bernabéu ended in a 2-0 win for the home side (in the group stage in 2022-23).

This will be just Leipzig’s third away game against Spanish opposition in European competition. They were beaten in that most recent defeat to Madrid, while winning at Real Sociedad in the UEFA Europa League play-off round in 2021-22 (3-1).

Madrid have enjoyed facing German sides in this competition, though, recording their fifth victory in six away knockout games against such opposition in the Champions League (L1) with the first-leg triumph, after managing just one win in their previous 17 across the Champions League/European Cup (D4 L12).

Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig Form

Leipzig are without a clean sheet in each of their last 14 Champions League home games, since a 2-0 win over Istanbul Basaksehir in October 2020 in the group stages, leaving it all to do in the return leg at Madrid.

The Bundesliga side’s task will not be aided by the fact that Madrid have won each of their last seven games in the competition, their best winning streak since they managed 10 straight victories between April 2014 and February 2015.

Leipzig also haven’t won any of their last six games in the knockout stages of the Champions League (D1 L5), failing to score in five of those six – an issue that Rose will be desperate to fix.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Wednesday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig Prediction

Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig Prediction

The Opta supercomputer predicts Real Madrid as the heavy favourites, with the hosts winning this game inside 90 minutes in 57.3% of 10,000 pre-match simulations by the Opta supercomputer, compared to a Leipzig triumph in just 21.5%.

A draw would send Madrid through, too, with that result forecast more often in 21.2% of the data-backed predictions, with Los Blancos expected to progress to the quarter-finals in 85.7% of Opta’s tournament simulations overall.

Ancelotti’s men go all the way to the final in 31.9%, though their 17.0% chance of winning the competition still ranks behind holders Manchester City (33.0%), while Leipzig have a slim 14.4% likelihood of progressing to the last eight.

Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig UCL Squads

Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois, Kepa, Andriy Lunin, Lucas Cañizares, Diego Piñeiro, David Alaba, Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rüdiger, Ferland Mendy, Éder Militão, Fran García, Álvaro Carrillo, Vinícius Tobias, Jacobo Ramón, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Lucas Vázquez, Dani Ceballos, Brahim Díaz, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Federico Valverde, Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Arda Güler, Nico Paz, Mario Martín, Joselu, Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo, Gonzalo García

Head Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

RB Leipzig: Péter Gulácsi, Leopold Zingerle, Janis Blaswich, Timo Schlieck, Tim Köhler, Lukas Klostermann, Mohamed Simakan, El Chadaille Bitshiabu, Castello Lukeba, Benjamin Henrichs, Christopher Lenz, Willi Orbán, David Raum, Amadou Haidara, Nicolas Seiwald, Nuha Jatta, Kevin Kampl, Dani Olmo, Christoph Baumgartner, Eljif Elmas, Xaver Schlager, Xavi Simons, Yannick Eduardo, Yussuf Poulsen, Loïs Openda, Benjamin Sesko

Head Coach: Marco Rose

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