Coach Julian Nagelsmann thinks that RB Leipzig should be able to win against Atlético Madrid on Thursday evening without Timo Werner in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The top scorer decided to move to Chelsea in July instead of finishing the season with the Germans.
“There has been a lot of talk about Timo lately, but he is no longer here. And it is not that we should play with one man less,” said 33-year-old Nagelsmann on Wednesday evening at his press conference in Lisbon, where the million ball is completed in tournament form.
“We also have scoring ability in midfield and in the rest of the vanguard. We also have players who played little when Timo was here. They were in the shadow, but can now take their responsibility.”
Yet Nagelsmann cannot deny that he would have liked the 24-year-old Werner against Atlético. With 34 goals in 45 official games – including 4 in the Champions League – the Germany international has been invaluable to Leipzig this season.
Timo Werner exchanged RB Leipzig for Chelsea. (Photo: Getty Images)
Nagelsmann sees tournament format as an advantage for Leipzig
Without Werner, who moved to Chelsea for more than 50 million euros, the number three of the last Bundesliga season is preparing for the first knockout match in the Champions League in the history of the club.
Nagelsmann hopes that the current tournament format – all meetings in Lisbon are settled over one game – will be in the advantage of Leipzig. “Atlético has a lot of experience playing a diptych in the Champions League, but now we are all thrown in the deep end. Anything can happen.”
The match between RB Leipzig and Atlético Madrid starts on Thursday at 9 p.m. The winner will take it on Tuesday for a place in the Champions League final against Paris Saint-Germain.