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MATCH PREVIEW: RB LEIPZIG VS VFB STUTTGART, DIE ROTEN BULLEN AIM TO GET FIRST WIN AS STUTTGART LOOK TO BUILD ON OPENING DAY MOEMENTUM

host VfB Stuttgart in the second round of fixtures of the new season after contrasting starts for each.

Die Roten Bullen under new head coach Jesse Marsch slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Mainz last weekend. Leipzig had been tipped by many to challenge for the title this season especially with Bayern Munich and Dortmund both hiring new managers and seeing key departures.

 

However, despite dominating Mainz on all fronts and boasting a staggering 72% possession, they will certainly be hoping for a much better showing this time. Star signing Andre Silva is yet to get firing and had an ordinary outing with no shots on target. Marsch knows it will not be easy, especially facing a side buoyed with a huge win.

 

Stuttgart knocked five past Greuther Furth with the new boys never really in the game. Pellegrino Matrazzo has done a marvelous job since his appointment in 2019 as evidenced by a solid 9th-placed finish last term. The next goal is obviously European football and a win over title-contenders Leipzig will make a definitive statement.

 

Borna Sosa garnered three assists while there were four different scorers. Even without a few key players resting, Die Schwaben are a good mix of young exciting talents and veteran old heads who are determined to make the team a mainstay of the top-flight.

 

TEAM NEWS

Leipzig had both Marcel Sabitzer and Dominik Szoboszlai on the bench as they still continue to recover from their Euros exertion. Nevertheless, it will not be a surprise to see either or both starting this weekend.

 

Marsch may also look to add an extra striker in Brian Brobbey or Hwang Hee Chan.

 

PROBABLE LINE-UP: Gulacsi; Mukiele, Orban, Simakan, Angelino; Kampl, Nkunku; Forsberg, Sabitzer, Haidara; Silva

 

Stuttgart have a lot of injury issues in their squad but their first 11 are no slouch. Even with Daniel Didavi and Erik Thommy as substitutes, the win was hardly in any danger. Sasa Kalajdzic is still recovering from COVID and will continue to sit out.

 

PROBABLE LINE-UP: Muller; Mavropanos, Anton, Kempf; Massimo, Endo, Klement, Sosa; Forster, Klimowicz; Ghaddioui

 

GAMECHANGERS

Emil Forsberg had an average game like much of his peers but the Swedish talisman will be keen to put those troubles behind him. Forsberg started on the left of the three in-behind the striker but he can easily interchange his position to get more central. His vision and clever gameplay will be crucial if they are to open up the compact Stuttgart back-line.

 

Furthermore, he will be relied upon to bring the wingbacks into play as both Angelino and Mukiele/Laimer love to get involved in attacks. Forsberg’s accuracy from long-range will also be essential if they are to open their season’s scoring this time.

 

Borna Sosa had himself an amazing first game, providing a hat-trick of assists from left wingback. The Croatian was unstoppable as were his marauding runs which the Greuther Furth were unable to cope with. Furthermore, he had a passing accuracy of 87% as well as three recoveries. Leipzig’s narrow shape in attack will provide opportunities for Sosa to get forward which would mean one of the midfielders having to cover him.

 

If he decides to come inside, that will beef up the numbers in the middle too. Leipzig as a team do like their players pushing up the pitch which means if Sosa is not marked properly, he can have a free run in behind, something the attack of Stuttgart thrives on.

 

PREDICTIONS

Though Leipzig are the favourites on paper, Stuttgart have been steadily improving since the appointment of Matarazzo. Marsch knows he will have to start winning soon if his side are to remain as challengers in the long haul. FootTheBall predicts a 1-1 draw between the two teams.

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