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  • Exciting Preview: RB Leipzig vs. FC Koln Clash | March 11th, 2024
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  • 12 March 2024

Exciting Preview: RB Leipzig vs. FC Koln Clash | March 11th, 2024

When RB Leipzig hosts FC Koln for a Bundesliga match on Saturday night at the Red Bull Arena, they will look to win three straight games since the international break.

Even though Die Roten Bullen haven't lost at home yet this year, the visitors are still looking for their first victory away from home.

Match preview

Prior to the international break, RB Leipzig was struggling. They managed a draw with Bayern Munich, but they also lost to Champions League leaders Manchester City 3-1 and shared the points with VfL Bochum. Since then, though, they have won back-to-back games against SV Darmstadt 98 and Red Star Belgrade.

In fact, the team beat Red Star at home by the same score three days after winning the Bundesliga on the road 3-1 against Darmstadt. Lois Openda, the club record signing, scored four goals in the two matches to bring his season total to seven goals in 13 games.

After eight games, Marco Rose's team is fifth in the Bundesliga, three points behind the top four and five points behind league leaders Bayer Leverkusen. Despite this, the team is on track to finish in the top two spots in Group G of the Champions League.

Leipzig, who have won their past eight home Bundesliga games despite their last two ending in draws, will be happy to return to the Red Bull Arena this weekend. Die Roen Bullen haven't lost three straight home league games since March/April 2021.

Rose and company will not be guaranteed success on Saturday, as they have drawn three of their past four meetings with Koln, including both home and away games from the previous season. A goalless draw in the rematch in February followed a 2-2 tie in Leipzig in August of last year.

Koln finally opened their account for the new season with a 3-1 home victory against Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend, following their joint-worst start to a top-fight campaign and their inability to win each of their first seven Bundesliga games.

After Luca Waldschmidt's goal in the ninetieth minute gave the Billy Goats the victory, captain Florian Kainz scored two penalties, Nico Elvedi equalised, and Manu Kone was sent off.

With the win, Steffen Baumgart's team has risen from the lowest three spots in the Bundesliga to 16th position. If they defeat Leipzig this coming weekend, they may even be able to leave the bottom three.

Koln may find it difficult to succeed on Saturday, though, having only triumphed twice in their previous 12 Bundesliga encounters against Leipzig, and their victory percentage of only 17% is the lowest of any side they have played at least a dozen times in the division.

Koln has struggled to score goals this season; only Bochum (six) has scored fewer at this point. Additionally, the Billy Goats' road record is not great, having only won all three points in three of their last 18 top-flight games; their only victory away from home came against Leipzig in a 2-1 victory in February 2018.

Team News

  • Willi Orban, a defender for Leipzig, is still out of action but has started working out on his own. Earlier this month, he suffered a knee injury while playing for Hungary internationally. El Chadaille Bitshiabu (MCL rupture) and Timo Schlieck (knee) are both receiving treatment for their injuries.
  • After recovering from a knee injury, Dani Olmo has made two appearances as a replacement. On Saturday, the playmaker will be looking to push his way back into the starting lineup ahead of Emil Forsberg.
  • Timo Werner and Benjamin Sesko will once again have to watch from the sidelines as replacements as Benjamin Henrichs and David Raum are anticipated to hold their positions at full-back ahead of Lukas Klostermann and Christopher Lenz. Openda and Yussuf Poulsen are expected to maintain their offensive combination.
  • Regarding Koln, Baumgart has verified that goalie Philipp Pentke, 38, is no longer in the hospital following treatment for a knee injury he suffered during practice. Jan Thielmann, Noah Katterbach, and Jacob Christensen will also be absent due to injuries to their knees.
  • Florian Dietz, on the other hand, has trained all week after missing a significant amount of time due to an ACL injury, and the forward may be available for selection in the matchday squad this coming weekend.
  • The only three Koln players with goals this season are Kainz, Waldschmidt, and Davie Selke. All three are anticipated to start on Saturday, with Kainz playing as the number 10 behind the other two in the attack.
  • Potential starting lineup for RB Leipzig is as follows: Openda, Poulsen; Simons, Kampl, Schlager, Olmo; Henrichs, Simakan, Lukeba, Raum; and Klarich.
  • Possible FC Koln starting lineup: Carstensen, Kainz, Waldschmidt; Selke; Martel, Ljubicic; Schmitz, Hubers, Chabot, and Paqarada.

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