RB Leipzig host Manchester City in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie on Wednesday. This fixture has produced plenty of goals in recent years — notably a 6-3 group stage win for Pep Guardiola’s side back in 2021. The Bundesliga outfit are in decent form and have only lost once since the FIFA 2022 World Cup break to sit just outside of the UCL places in Germany. City have lost three times across all competitions but have played more games and just saw Arsenal take back top spot in the Premier League over the weekend. Marco Rose will be hoping that his team can keep things tight in the opening leg which will keep the pressure on City heading into the second leg.
“Right after the draw, I knew it, I felt it, that it will be a really tough opponent,” said Guardiola ahead of the game. “We know the quality of them. For many years this club has a culture for young players, recruitment, physicality, clear patterns to play. Huge respect what this club has done. It will be a tough, tough two games. In the first game, we have to try to control emotions and get a good result for the second leg.
“I would say if my career finished tomorrow I would be more than blessed with what I’ve done at Barcelona, Bayern and here. To do what I have done in Europe in such a small amount of time. We want to do our best. In the end destiny is already written. I had the feeling what we have done for many years, whatever happens, or what I do personally, I’m going to fail. Nothing will be enough.”
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How to watch and odds
- Date: Wednesday, Feb. 22 | Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Red Bull Arena — Leipzig, Germany
- TV and live stream: CBS and Paramount+
- Odds: Leipzig +340; Draw: +275; City -133 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | RB Leipzig vs. Manchester City
Leipzig: Peter Gulacsi, Dani Olmo, and Abdou Diallo are all out injured, but Christopher Nkunku and Konrad Laimer are finally back in action. The France international might not be fit enough to start so Andre Silva could continue with Timo Werner, Emil Forsberg and Dominik Szoboszlai also attacking options. Laimer could return to the starting XI while Willi Orban was back against VfL Wolfsburg alongside Josko Gvardiol. Lukas Klostermann, Mohamed Simakan, and Benjamin Henrichs are also in contention to start. Marcel Halstenberg could also get the nod over David Raum.
City: Kevin de Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte are both out ill. John Stones is still out injured, but Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, and Rico Lewis could all return to the starting XI. Bernardo Silva should continue on the left while Ilkay Gundogan should remain in the middle. Riyad Mahrez could start again instead of Phil Foden or Jack Grealish. Erling Braut Haaland has a strong record against Leipzig and should start ahead of Julian Alvarez.
“To be less predictable does not depend on Haaland,” added Guardiola. “It is about how we make the process to arrive in different channels and the final third, not just with Erling.”
This one usually produces goals so do not expect this matchup to be any different. City are the stronger side but Leipzig can hurt even the biggest teams. Expect Guardiola’s men to take a first-leg lead with Rose’s side still in the tie. Pick: Leipzig 1, City 2.