Real Madrid took control of La Liga on Saturday by defeating second-placed Girona 4-0. Now, Los Blancos head to Germany for a first-leg Champions League round of 16 matchup at RB Leipzig. Leipzig has been relatively inconsistent lately but there’s no denying the danger they pose. Real Madrid is the most successful club in the history of the UCL and they’ll be looking to make yet another deep run. We’ll take a look at Real’s chances to win the first leg in our RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid betting preview.
This is only the third opportunity for RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid betting all-time. In the 2022-23 campaign, these sides were in the same Champions League group. The Champions League scores were quite even, as these teams split their meetings. At the Santiago Bernabeu, Real won 2-0 with late goals from Fede Valverde and Marco Asensio. In the reverse fixture, Leipzig managed a 3-2 victory but none of the players who scored for the German side are still on the roster.
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Defense an Issue for Inconsistent RB Leipzig
RB Leipzig went on the road to Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday and came away with a point following a 2-2 draw. Both of Leipzig’s goals in the match came on crosses, as David Raum and Dani Olmo played in beautiful balls for Lois Openda and Benjamin Sesko, respectively. Concerningly, Leipzig have won just one of their last six matches overall and have dropped out of the Bundesliga’s top four.
Their last appearance in the Champions League knockout stage wasn’t pretty either. After drawing 1-1 vs. Manchester City in the first leg of the round of 16, Leipzig fell 7-0 to crash out of the competition. Playing in front of their home fans, Leipzig will believe they can get a result, like they did vs. Real Madrid last season. Despite their patchy form, RB Leipzig’s goal scoring has been consistent.
They’ve scored two goals in each of their last four games and Openda and Sesko have been the main culprits. Openda has scored in his last four matches, while Sesko has found the net in Leipzig’s last three. Taking one of them as an anytime goalscorer here might not be a bad soccer betting pick.
Defense has been the main issue for RB Leipzig over the last couple of months. They conceded three goals to Leverkusen and five goals to Stuttgart in losses in late January. Leipzig have also kept just one clean sheet in their last 16 matches overall. While Real Madrid have their fair share of injuries heading into this one, only midfielder Amadou Haidara is out for RB Leipzig.
Vinicius Jr. Puts in Incredible Shift for Real Madrid
Saturday’s match vs. Girona was Real Madrid’s biggest of the season so far. In a clash between La Liga’s top two teams this season, Vinicius Jr. stole the show. The Brazilian livewire had a hand in all four of Real Madrid’s goals in the shutout victory. He unleashed a long range strike just a few minutes into the match for Real’s first and played an inch perfect outside of the foot pass for Jude Bellingham for the second. In the second half, Bellingham turned in Vini’s rebounded shot for the third goal of the match.
Then, Vinicius Jr. assisted his compatriot Rodrygo to seal the deal. It was a statement win for Real Madrid, who now hold a five point lead at the top of the La Liga table. Real also finished in first place in the Group C Champions League standings with a perfect 6-0 record. Real have only lost to Atletico Madrid this season and are thriving despite some key injuries.
For the last couple of games, Real have had to play with makeshift center backs with all of their key players injured. On Saturday, central midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni and right back Dani Carvajal started in the heart of the defense and managed to keep a clean sheet vs. La Liga’s highest scoring outfit. David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois are all out with ACL injuries. Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger and Nacho are also working their way back from injuries. If neither can recover in time, we could see Tchouameni and Carvajal once again. Bellingham is also out with an ankle sprain.
RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid Analysis & Odds
Real Madrid have the luxury of swapping in former Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric for the injured Bellingham. Even with a bunch of center backs out, Carlo Ancelotti’s still able to sub players in who can keep clean sheets and do a job. So, that’s why it’s no surprise that the RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid betting odds still price Los Blancos as +120 favorites for this match. That corresponds to a 45.5 percent chance of victory on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Leipzig are +210 underdogs for this one and they’ve won just one of their last three home matches. Real Madrid will be heavily favored to advance to the Quarter-Final even if they come away with a draw in this one. Bettors can take a deadlock at +270 odds. Although Leipzig has scored quite a few goals lately, Real doesn’t typically give away easy goals. Real Madrid have conceded just four times in their last five games.
Under three goals sit at -120 odds in one of the week’s most exciting matches. Leipzig’s fullbacks will have their hands full all day trying to deal with Vini and Rodrygo. Having Toni Kroos, Valverde, and Modric in midfield is almost a cheat code.