RB Leipzig is ready to face Manchester City in a Champions League encounter on Wednesday, anticipating that the return of top goal-scorer Christopher Nkunku will be key factor in that match.
Despite missing France’s run to the World Cup final in Qatar due to a 98-day gap, Nkunku made a late cameo in Leipzig’s 3-0 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday, setting up a goal for Konrad Laimer. He on Wednesday will be in the opposition of the Manchester City forward Erling Haaland, who has 32 goals in 31 games since joining the club in the summer from Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Injury leading to Nkunku’s World Cup miss
Christopher Nkunku was ruled out of the World Cup after suffering an injury in training, further weakened France’s hopes for winning the world cup . The RB Leipzig attacker suffered the injury during Les Bleus’ final training session on Tuesday at Claire fontaine, France’s national football center, according to RMC Sport.
According to the report, he collided with Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, injuring Nkunku’s left leg. After limping out of training on Tuesday, the forward underwent medical testing. Those present initially expressed concern about the implications of the incident on his ability to compete in Qatar.
He has yet to score for his national side since making his debut in March of this year, accumulating eight caps in the process – the injury is a terrible blow to the forward who had hoped to make a significant impression on the tournament.
After the swelling subsided, testing indicated that his left knee’s lateral ligaments had been damaged. Although he resumed light training on January 16, it remains to be seen when the Leipzig talisman will be fit enough to compete again.
Christopher Nkunku’s 22-23 season
Nkunku’s three goals in November qualified him for Bundesliga Player of the Month. The France international cannot be replaced on a like-for-like basis; he leads the Bundesliga with 12 goals this season and has a league-leading 25 for the calendar year.
Nkunku’s comeback is essential to Leipzig’s chances of shocking the Champions League favourites and progressing to the last 16 for only the second time in club history. Leipzig will need Nkunku’s speed and ingenuity in particular to break down a City defence that has conceded just two goals this Champions League season – the same as Bayern Munich.
Manchester City Vs RB Leipzig
In the two UEFA Champions League encounters between Manchester City and RB Leipzig, a total of 12 goals were scored, with both teams winning one game. In the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, RB Leipzig has faced three English opponents.
Manchester City has won only one of their last 17 UEFA Champions League meetings against German opponents, scoring 44 goals in the process. After winning their first three knock-out games in the UEFA Champions League, RB Leipzig has lost their following three without scoring a single goal. Pep Guardiola has the highest victory rate in the history of the UEFA Champions League among managers who have played at least 50 games in the competition.
RB Leipzig can carry a punch on their day and has pulled off many Champions League upsets in the past. Manchester City is the superior team on paper and should be able to win this game.
Prediction : Manchester City 2 – 2 RB Leipzig.
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