Nagelsmann: Leipzig will be fine without Werner against Atlético
RB Leipzig will be without Timo Werner against Atlético Madrid but Julian Nagelsmann is happy with his other options in attack for tomorrow's quarter final.
Timo Werner's departure does not mean RB Leipzig will be "outnumbered" against Atlético Madrid, with Julian Nagelsmann confident his squad still carries a sufficient goal threat. Chelsea shelled out a reported 50 million euros to secure the signature of Werner, who opted to join his new team-mates in west London rather than remain with Leipzig for the rest of their Champions League campaign. The Germany international scored 34 goals and supplied 12 assists in 45 appearances in all competitions for the Bundesliga side in 2019-20.
Leipzig consequently head into their quarter-final against Atlético on Thursday without their most potent striker, but Nagelsmann believes they can still do damage at Estadio José Alvalade.
"We don't have to play outnumbered, we will replace [Werner] with a capable player," Nagelsmann told a pre-match news conference. "I can reveal that 11 will start the game, but I will not reveal who will play instead of him. We have quality. Timo would have started tomorrow, but we can replace him and we have the ability to get in front of their goal. We have players who didn't play when Werner was here and will now get their chance to show what they can do and score plenty."
Team news— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) August 12, 2020
Marcel #Halstenberg and Patrik #Schick have shown positive signs in training. However, it is still unknown whether the duo will be able to go the full distance tomorrow.
Leipzig pair face fitness test
Nagelsmann's attacking options could be further limited by Patrik Schick being on the way back from a knee injury, while Marcel Halstenberg has been dealing with a back problem.
"We'll see how they are doing. On Friday they were good; we'll see if they can start and play 90, or if they'll start on the bench," said the coach. "If they can play 90 minutes, if they're at 100 per cent is a question for all my players, though, and we'll see that tomorrow."
Atleti have been regulars in the latter stages of the Champions League under Diego Simeone but Nagelsmann feels the fact remaining matches will be played as one-offs rather than over two legs makes up for Leipzig's inexperience in European competition.
"We'll look to play our game, we're focused on ourselves," said the Leipzig boss. "We know that they have a lot of experience over two legs - but anything can happen in just one game as opposed to two legs. Atleti don't have experience in one-off games, just as we don't in this new Champions League format. They're physical, they have a really strong centre-back in the shape of [José] Giménez and [Stefan] Savic next to him. We obviously want to look get down the sides and move the ball out wide and try and find gaps in their backline; we won't change our style. There's pressure and nerves. But we want to relax the players and not increase the pressure ahead. There's always tension. We've spoken through different scenarios - if we score, if they score. We're focused on the game, it'll be exciting and we want to make the first step and take the lead. We will be ready."
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