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Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund face Rasenballsport Leipzig

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This match could potentially decide who finishes 2nd in the league

Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Lawn ball

Noun

1. A game played with wooden balls on a level, closely mowed green having a slight bias, the object being to roll one’s ball as near as possible to a smaller white ball at the other end of the green.

Borussia Dortmund and Rasenballsport Leipzig are set to face off in a pivotal Bundesliga showdown that could potentially determine which of the two teams finish second in the league behind Bayern Munich. BVB and RB Leipzig are currently three points apart, meaning a BVB win would seal a second place finish for Dortmund, whereas a draw or Leipzig victory would keep the Red Bulls in the running to finish second in the league. While finishing second in the league obviously isn’t as big of a prize as winning the Meisterschale, it’s still a major point of pride for these two clubs, and it’s always better to be in pot 2 of the Champions League draw than pot 3.

In many ways, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig’s seasons have been mirror opposites of each other. While BVB started poorly and gradually found their form towards the middle of the season, RB Leipzig shot out of the gates to start the season, but couldn’t keep their form up and gradually fell off as the season went on, at one pointing winning only two of eight games from January until the Bundesliga restart in May. This collapse led Julian Nagelsmann’s team to fall out of contention for the Bundesliga title.

While not pathetically trying to suck up to Chelsea fans on Twitter, RB Leipzig are a quality side with quality on both ends of the pitch. Their star player is the soon to be Chelsea-bound Timo Werner, who is second only to Robert Lewandowski with 26 goals in the league. Christopher Nkunku has also had a solid season, with 5 goals and 13 assists. In attack there’s also Patrik Schick, who has done well to recover his form after struggling with AS Roma, and Marcel Sabitzer, who’s having a career year.

RB Leipzig will be without Yousuf Poulsen, who picked up an ankle injury in late May. The rest of the squad should be fit come tomorrow, with a back line of Upamecano, Marcel Halstenburg, and Lukas Klostermann playing behind a midfield of Marcel Sabitzer and Konrad Laimer, with Schick, Werner, and Nkunku forming their front three.

In Borussia Dortmund team news, Dan Axel Zagadou has reportedly made the journey to Leipzig with the team, meaning he could hopefully at make the bench, even if he’s unlikely to start. Manuel Akanji is also injured, so expect a back line of Emre Can, Mats Hummels, and Lukasz Piszczek. Meanwhile, Achraf Hakimi is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Mainz, so we could see Mateu Morey get his first start for Borussia Dortmund at right wing back.

With Emre Can in the back line, a midfield of Axel Witsel and Julian Brandt seems most likely, with the familiar front three of Thorgan Hazard, Jadon Sancho, and Erling Håland up front.

With a poor showing on Wednesday against Mainz, one would hope that Borussia Dortmund would be motivated to find some redemption against Leipzig. It will be embarrassing for the players and the club itself to finish behind Leipzig in the Bundesliga Table. Hopefully they can muster a better effort than they did against Mainz.