PREVIEW: BORUSSIA DORTMUND VS RB LEIPZIG, DORTMUND FIGHT FOR TOP FOUR AS LEIPZIG LOOK TO SECURE SECOND SPOT
German fans brace yourself for a scintillating fixture between two top Bundesliga sides with the season coming to a close end. The Signal Iduna Park is set to host RB Leipzig as Dortmund aim for a top-four spot.
Bayern Munich, the runaway leaders remain one win away from winning their record ninth Bundesliga title in a row. Leipzig sit at second, seven points behind Bayern, still hopeful of a miracle with just three games remaining.
Dortmund have struggled for the most of this year, sacking their manager mid-season and still a point away from the Champions League spot sitting in fifth. Despite the league looking done for good, Leipzig won’t shy from giving it their all in case Bayern slip up miraculously and lose all three of their remaining fixtures.
🏆 BERLIN BOUND 🏆 pic.twitter.com/UC4rTwusW2
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 1, 2021
Leipzig can seal the second spot with a win but Dortmund have bigger stakes as they look drifting away from the Champions League.This game will act as a trailer for the DFB Pokal final which is set between the same teams a week later. Both sides won their respective cup semifinals – Leipzig beating Werder Bremen 2-1 while Dortmund were comprehensive in their 5-0 win over Holstein Kiel.
Dortmund have won four of their last five league games while Leipzig managed to win just two. The reverse fixture in January was comfortably won by Dortmund with a brace from Haaland and a goal from Jadon Sancho.
Edin Terzic will have talisman Erling Haaland back in the squad after he missed the DFB Pokal semi-final against Holstein Kiel with a minor muscle injury. Giovanni Reyna is also most likely to be fit for the weekend fixture after he was subbed off at half time with an injury scare. Sancho’s resurgence will be a huge plus for the home side as they go into the battle for top four.
Borussia Dortmund Probable Lineup: Hitz; Piszczek, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Can, Bellingham, Reus, Reyna, Sancho; Halaand
Julian Nagelsmann has all of his squad available for the weekend fixture with the exception of Hungarian wonder-kid Dominik Szoboszlai who has been sidelined ever since his move to Nagelsmann’s side in January.
RB Leipzig Probable Lineup: Gulacsi; Mukiele, Orban, Konate, Upamecano; Olmo, Adams, Sabitzer; Nkunku, Forsberg, Haidara
The young Britisher Jadon Sancho is most likely to be the impact player for Dortmund. Sancho has 30 goal contributions this season for Dortmund despite spending time out due to injury.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 3, 2021
The pacy winger dashes past defenders with his wide range of skills and finds space to create a goal-scoring opportunity in the box for his teammates. Him alongside the Norwegian Erling Haaland will pose the primary threat to Leipzig’s usually solid defence.
Haaland and Sancho stats for Dortmund this season
🏟 25 games
⚽️ 27 goals
🏟 29 games
⚽️ 10 goals
🎯 15 assists pic.twitter.com/GpoDMSYp4S
— Football Talk (@Football_TaIk) February 22, 2021
Young Spaniard Dani Olmo will be key to Nagelsmann’s attacking unit. He has already registered ten assists in the league this season along with four goals.
Dani Olmo's season so far:
29/29 games played 😤
4 goals 🎯
9 assists 🅰
On fire! 🔥
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) April 20, 2021
Along with Marcel Sabitzer in the midfield, Leipzig can break down any defence on their day with the slick passing and one-touch moves.
Apart from their attacking prowess, Leipzig also have a solid backline led by Liverpool-bound Ibrahima Konate and Bayern-bound Dayot Upamecano. The two out-going centre halves are as strong as a rock behind Leipzig’s attacking unit.
These two looking as solid as ever this evening 🚧
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) December 19, 2018
Breaking them down has been very difficult for teams this season.
Both the DFB-Pokal finalists have been looking sharp in their recent fixtures and it looks to be a close battle between the two sides. In terms of who needs the three points more, Dortmund have a Champions League spot at stake while Leipzig have nothing to lose from the 2nd position.
Looking at the club’s recent performances, squad quality and tactical set-up, we at FootTheBall predict a 2-2 draw.