After a disappointing start to their Bundesliga season (W1, D2, L2), RB Leipzig’s UEFA Champions League (UCL) campaign kicked off in similar fashion, as they slumped to a 4-1 defeat on home turf against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek. The fixture computer has handed Leipzig a shot at instant redemption in front of their home crowd however, with a tricky-looking test against a Borussia Dortmund side they completed a league double over last season!
That UCL defeat proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as Domenico Tedesco’s job was concerned, with Leipzig wielding the axe ahead of this clash. Marco Rose was quickly confirmed as the new head coach, stating in a news conference that “I have never taken over a team during the season but the structures here are very good.” With a solid recent home league run (W6, D3, L1), Rose will hope that the foundations already in place can bring a much needed three points here.
Contrastingly, Dortmund’s UCL campaign began in fine fettle, with a 3-0 drubbing of Copenhagen the perfect start in what looks a tricky Group G. Dortmund have been red-hot on the domestic stage too, and will look to pick up where they left off, with back-to-back Bundesliga victories seeing Edin Terzić’s side on 12 points after five games (W4, L1) for the third-successive season.
Going one step beyond a second-placed finish, something Dortmund achieved in two of those three seasons, won’t be easy with Bayern Munich hotly-tipped to win an 11th-straight Bundesliga title. The early signs are promising though and victory here would see Terzić’s side collect three away Bundesliga wins to open their campaign for the first time since 2010/11, coincidentally a season in which they won the league!
Players to watch: Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku has four goals from five Bundesliga games this campaign and scored in both H2Hs last season, with this likely to be his 100th Bundesliga appearance. Meanwhile, Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham has collected more yellow cards (two) than Bundesliga goal involvements this season (zero).
Hot streak: Dortmund have scored at least once in 16-straight Bundesliga away games.