See you in Moscow? – The RB must beat San Sebastian

It’s about getting into the round of 16 of the Europa League. The first leg 2:2 means: Whoever wins now qualifies. And that is what RB Leipzig wants. Then there could be a game that would be something special, especially for the Saxon coach.

Domenico Tedesco also used to coach Spartak Moscow. Photo: Christian Modla/dpa (Image: dpa)
(Photo: Christian Modla/dpa)

Leipzig: Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco deviated from his usual habits. For worrying reason.

“Of course I follow it and I hope that in the end there will be a peaceful solution. That’s what I want », said the 36-year-old football teacher, who prefers to talk only about football, at a press conference in Leipzig.

But his past at Spartak Moscow, the near future with a possible reunion in Russia soon and the present with the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict meant that this time not only football was talked about. This topic is something that interests you in particular. “That is clear,” Tedesco stressed.

Because if he and his current club, RB Leipzig, win the second leg of the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday (6:45 p.m./RTL+) at Real Sociedad San Sebastián, Spartak would be one of the possible Round of 16 rivals. The team from the Russian capital had won their group and is therefore one of the eight seeded teams. Leipzig could not yet play against Bundesliga rivals Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who are also top-seeded, which rules out the modality.

Tedesco: “Sensational time” at Spartak

Tedesco stressed that he had a “sensational time” at Spartak, both sportingly and personally. “Many friendships were formed that are still going strong. We are still writing now, we are also writing in the last days.” Before his commitment to Leipzig, which began last December, he worked at the Russian capital club from October 2019 to the end of May 2021.

But before they meet again under any sign other than positive, Leipzig must first win in Spain. The 2-2 victory in the first leg at the Red Bull Arena showed that this is no easy task. However, Tedesco does not expect Real Sociedad to start again with a chain of five.

Tedesco awaits determined opponents

“I think they’ll play a little bit differently at home, the fans will push them forward,” Tedesco said. Especially after the bitter 4-0 defeat in the Basque derby against Athletic Bilbao last day in the First Division. After the “painful night” there was no time for regrets, the club itself commented on its website. And the attacker and captain Mikel Oyarzabal appealed to the disappointed fans through Instagram: “The moment in which we are united and we have to trust this team more than ever.”

Self-confidence is steadily growing among the people of Leipzig under Tedesco. The last 6:1 against Hertha BSC provided further proof and fourth place in the Bundesliga. And the greed for more is there. The fact that the RB coach did not make any mistakes in the second leg fits into the round picture of a class mass squad. “If we have so many good personnel, that must be our strength,” said Tedesco, who has shown signs of success recently, mainly through substituting him. He did not want to reveal if he will tour at the Anoeta Stadium, as he did last time in Berlin, with seven new players in the starting eleven or with the same formation.

The expected lineups

Real Sociedad San Sebastián: Mathew – Gorosabel, Aritz, Le Normand, Aihen – Zubimendi, Portu, David Silva, Oyarzabal, Isak – Sörloth

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Orban, Gvardiol – Henrichs, Laimer, Adams, Dani Olmo, Forsberg – Andre Silva, Nkunku

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Great Britain)

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Jamie Franklin

"Troublemaker. Typical travel fan. Food fanatic. Award-winning student. Organizer. Entrepreneur. Bacon specialist."

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