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2017-18 Bundesliga Preview: Can The Lawn Balls Maintain Their Success?

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We don’t really like RBL.

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As part of our season preview, we will be profiling all 18 clubs in the Bundesliga, and how we think they will fair during the coming season. Today, we will be focusing on RB Leipzig.

Last Season

Much to the chagrin of Bundesliga fans everywhere, last year was a resounding success for Rasenball Leipzig. In their first season of the Bundesliga, they defied nearly every expectation. Their first Bundesliga victory came against Dortmund, and from that point on never really looked back.

Many at this blog (myself included) expected the Energy Drinks to struggle. Instead, they were dominant. They won 10 of their first 13 (and drew the rest), before finally losing 1-0 to Ingolstadt. They struggled more from that point, losing 6 of their next 11 before returning to form for the rest of the season.

Manager Ralph Hassenhüttl is a phenomenal coach, and the Bulls had plenty of standout performers included German International Timo Werner, Naby Keïta, and keeper Emil Forsberg.

Transfer Summary

Transfers In

  • Jean-Kévin Augustin (€13 Million)
  • Bruma (€12.5 Million)
  • Konrad Laimer (€7 Million)
  • Yvon Mvogo (€5 Million)

Transfers Out

  • Davide Selke (€8 Million)

As much as I dislike this club, I have to admit that they are building their club very well. Rather than overspending on exorbitant purchases, they have continued to invest in younger players with high potential. As a result, they have kept around their star players, and have added even more pieces. Despite the hundred or so hopeful articles that I’ve read at the Liverpool Offside, Naby Keïta is still in Leipzig. Augustin and Bruma have loads of potential, both now and in the future.

Outlook

As much as I want to say that RB Salzburg Sr. will falter, I really don’t think they will. They’ve kept all of their important pieces, and have added even more vibrant youth. Hassenhüttl has them playing attractive, dominant football, that led them to one of the best goal differentials in the previous year.

While the addition of european competition will set them back a bit as they become more and more busy each week, they are a deep squad and should be able to handle it reasonably well. Their midfield, featuring Emil Forsberg, Marcel Sabitzer, and Naby Keïta, is one of the best in Germany. They have a plethora of forwards including Yusuf Poulsen and Timo Werner. Their defense, led by young Hungarian Willi Orban, is average in terms of quality, but is well protected by Leipzig’s midfield.

Prediction: 3rd Place

As much as I really want to put in something else, I think Leipzig will play very well and make 3rd with relative ease. While I think Dortmund have improved enough to pass them into second (unless we lose Dembélé), I don’t think any other Bundesliga club has enough to overthrow them. I strongly believe RBL are here to stay amongst the Bundesliga’s elite.