Leipzig coach shrugs off Werner absence

Julian Nagelsmann also believes the single-leg format could help RB Leipzig as Atletico Madrid is expert campaigner over two legs.

Timo Werner has started training with Chelsea ahead of the next season.   -  Twitter/Chelsea

RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann has shrugged off the absence of leading scorer Timo Werner, saying it will not affect its chances of beating Atletico Madrid in Thursday's Champions League quarterfinal.

Werner joined Premier League club Chelsea last month after scoring 34 goals in all competitions for Leipzig this season, leaving a gaping hole in its attack.

READ | 'Turbo Timo' Werner gives new-look Chelsea goal threat

Overall, the 24-year-old has scored a club record 95 goals in 159 appearances over four seasons for the Bundesliga side.

However, Nagelsmann insisted Leipzig had other options up its sleeve.

“It has been talked about a lot, but Timo is not here any more,” he said. “But it's not as if we have to play with a man less. We have the ability in midfield and attack to score goals. We have players who played little because of Timo and those players who were in the shadows can now take the responsibility.”

In a normal season, Werner would have stayed with Leipzig until the end of its Champions League campaign.

But because of the COVID-19 interruption, Leipzig finished its Bundesliga campaign at the end of June and had to wait nearly six weeks for the Champions League 'Final Eight' mini-tournament in Lisbon.

Having taken a holiday in July, Werner preferred to start training with his new club rather than returning to Leipzig.

READ | Atletico catching all the breaks in Champions League

Nagelsmann said he believed the single-leg format could help Leipzig as Atletico is expert campaigner over two legs.

“Atletico have more experience but I am convinced that plays a greater role over two games. This is a single match. Atletico have no experience with this format either so I don't think their experience is as important as would normally be the case.”