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Match Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Dortmund

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2nd vs. 4th

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

The tough stretch of matches for Borussia Dortmund continues this Saturday. BVB travels to East Germany to take on RB Leipzig at 12:30 p.m. ET.

For as good as Leipzig have looked since achieving promotion to the Bundesliga, Dortmund hasn’t lost to Die Roten Bullen since a 3-2 defeat at home in October 2017, and BVB holds a 4-2-2 mark against Leipzig since their first Bundesliga season in 2016/17.

It’s been a challenging month for Dortmund, although things are certainly beginning to stabilize. Injured players are coming back, players who have been struggling have stepped up, and it seems that whatever Edin Terzic is doing is paying off... for the moment. Yes, problems that existed before Terzic still show up every now and then, mainly #sadpieces, but if the Wolfsburg match is anything, it appears that maybe things will be alright.

While Dortmund are trying to find their footing, Leipzig are looking to make a push for the top of the table. Since their 1-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach on Halloween, they haven’t lost a single match and currently sit two points behind Bayern Munich. A win against BVB shoots Leipzig to the top, and I don’t think we should let that happen.

Projected Line-Up

I don’t think we’re going to see much in terms of rotation; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? However, there actually was a little something they could do to fix it. The central midfield pairing of Axel Witsel-Thomas Delaney lacked creativity and forward movement at the expense of a stronger defensive shape. I think dropping Delaney for Emre Can, who is more known to be a threat in the attack than someone like Delaney or Witsel, could be a real difference maker.

Leipzig have run so many different formations this season; they went with a 4-1-4-1 against Stuttgart, and a 3-4-2-1 against Koln and Hoffenheim, and before that a 4-2-3-1 against Bremen. I genuinely don’t know what kind of formation they use, as they seem to use whatever will work on their given opponent. Some call it expert coaching and preparation, others call it witchcraft, but it works. So idk what kind of squad we’re going to see from Leipzig, but all I know is that they will be loaded with the kind of talent that could spell trouble all day for Dortmund.

Prediction

With the exception of the first match of the 2018/19 season, every match against Leipzig has been very close, showcasing just how good Leipzig have become since achieving promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016. Even with how Dortmund have looked in recent times, and with how efficient Leipzig have been, I don’t expect this to be anything but a close game.