RB Leipzig vs Borussia Dortmund: The new headline fixture in Bundesliga

RB Leipzig will look to surge into the top four of the Bundesliga when it hosts Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

Published : Mar 02, 2018 14:01 IST

RasenBallsport Leipzig has been the antithesis of a newly-promoted club. Because newly-promoted clubs don’t put together a 13-match unbeaten run, provide a title challenge to the perennial champion Bayern Munich, finish second in their first season in top-flight football, and earn a ticket to the Champions League group stage.

Leipzig has also proven that it is not a one-season wonder by registering 11 wins and sitting pretty on the sixth spot on the Bundesliga table. Until now, the side has enjoyed a fairy tale run and Saturday’s clash against Borussia Dortmund at the Red Bull Arena is another chance the club side to punch above its weight.

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Dortmund has witnessed a remarkable upturn in form since Peter Stoeger took over from Peter Bosz. It is on a nine-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga, winning five and drawing four and thereby helping itself to second place on the table (having been eighth when Stoeger took over). Dortmund, undoubtedly, is the team in form ahead of Saturday’s meeting.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's departure from the club in January hasn’t affected Dortmund’s form, with loanee Michy Batshuayi hitting the ground running since joining from Chelsea on deadline day (January 31) by scoring three goals in four league appearances. Marcos Reus, who has returned from a long-term ankle injury, is a further boost to Dortmund.

Leipzig, on the other hand, will be without the services of  Naby Keita, who is out due to a thigh injury.

Boost to Bundesliga

Leipzig’s emergence is a massive boost to Bundesliga, which often gets ridiculed for the seeming lack of competition and Bayern’s overwhelming dominance.

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Fixtures like these draw a massive level of attention thanks to Leipzig’s involvement in the race for a top-four finish (Bayern holds a seemingly insurmountable 19-point lead at the top) and the competition it now provides to the likes of Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke.

Reverse fixture and previous meetings

  • RB Leipzig won the reverse fixture 3-2 at Signal Iduna Park, where both teams had been reduced to ten men following the dismissals of Sokratis and Stefan Ilsanker.
  • Leipzig leads the head to head by 2-1 in three meetings so far.
  • Dortmund is second on the table with 41 points (GD +19), while Leipzig is sixth with 38 points (GD +4).

Form guide (all competitions)

  • RB Leipzig: LLLWW (most recent result first)
  • Dortmund: DDWWW
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