RB Leipzig will be aiming to recover from their recent slump when they host an in-form Borussia Dortmund side in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Date: 4 March 2018
Match Day 25
Kick-off: 01H30 HKT
Venue: Red Bull Arena
Referee: F. Brych
Assistants: M. Borch, S. Lupp
Fourth official: J. Pfeifer
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Leipzig 3 1 0 2
Dortmund 3 2 0 1
Dortmund 2-3 Leipzig 14/10/17 (Bundesliga)
Dortmund goalscorers: P. Aubameyang (4′, pen 64′)
Leipzig goalscorers: M. Sabitzer (10′), Y. Poulsen (25′), J. Augustin (pen 49′)
Players to watch
Timo Werner has been the man in form for Leipzig this campaign. The 21-year-old striker has bagged 16 goals and made four assists in his 32 games in all competitions, but has not found the net in his last five league appearances and will be determined to rediscover his goalscoring form.
Striker Michy Batshuayi has hit the ground running at Dortmund since making his loan switch from Premier League side Chelsea in January. He has already scored five goals and provided one assist in his six games across all competitions.
Team form and manager quotes
Die Bullen have suffered back-to-back defeats in the league, which has seen them fall from second to sixth in the standings. They lost 2-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt before a 2-1 defeat at home against 1. FC Köln.
The fight for second position in the league is incredibly tight, with five teams within three points of each other. A victory for Leipzig would see them go level on points with the BVB, who have a far superior goal difference.
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl told the press ahead of the game: “This is a team that has incredible quality. Everything was wonderful a week and a half ago, everything is different now, it’s something new for us, we have no time to stay in defeat for a long time.”
Meanwhile, Dortmund have enjoyed an impressive unbeaten run in the Bundesliga since manager Peter Stoger took over the reins at the club in December. They have not lost a league game under Stoger in nine outings.
Dortmund come into the clash having won three of their last four Bundesliga fixtures, beating Köln, Hamburger SV and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, before most recently being held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at home against FC Augsburg.
Despite Leipzig’s consecutive defeats, Stoger insists they remain a strong opponent and are not in crisis. He told his press conference: “I don’t see a crisis, but I can see the discussions about Leipzig. These are discussions I’ve talked about. You have to face them [as a coach].
“It’s a main part of the job as a coach or club manager. You needn’t absorb everything, as some things you have to handle because they’re important.
“After that you should work them out with your team to make them different or better. Actually, I can’t see a crisis in Leipzig.
“At the end of the day, there are the things the team of Leipzig stands for, which is the quality of their coach, their stadium and the players.
“I have to say, this team has been established near the top of the Bundesliga in the last two years for good reason, therefore we are aware [of their strengths].”
Leipzig will be missing Halstenberg due to a knee injury, while Dortmund are without the injured Erik Durm, Maximilian Philipp, Jadon Sancho, and Andriy Yarmolenko.