RB Leipzig v Werder Bremen – Red Bull Arena at 14:30 GMT
The Bundesliga’s standout showdown last Sunday between league leaders Bayern Munich and new pretenders RB Leipzig failed to live up to the hype. A goalless game in the Bavarian capital was arguably a fair result that the duo will happily take with them ahead of the final furlong in the race for the title.
Leipzig had faltered and flustered in recent weeks, looking far from their confident selves and letting five league points and a place in the DFB Pokal slip through their grasp. Die Rotten Bullen boss Julian Nagelsmann had questioned his team’s character and had criticised their drop-off in performance levels.
In the first 45 minutes, it looked as if Leipzig hadn’t heeded his warnings with defensive lynchpin Dayot Upamecano arguably the only RB player to come through with any distinction as the newcomers struggled to exert any authority against a wave of Bayern attacks. Crucially, Leipzig reached half-time level.
The plan to sit deep and counter wasn’t quite executed to precision in those early stages but it eventually gave his team more freedom as they regrouped at the interval. Marcel Sabitzer and Timo Werner spurned golden second-half chances as Leipzig created a flurry of opportunities and attacked with gusto.
Nagelsmann was satisfied with a share of the spoils and can be encouraged by his team’s reaction to recent woes. Die Rotten Bullen should now be capable of kicking back on with a very winnable home encounter against relegation-threatened Werder Bremen next on the menu this Saturday afternoon.
Leipzig to seal cushy success
Nagelsmann’s outfit have plundered 28 goals in 10 Bundesliga home games, boast a 100% record against clubs in 11th and down whilst racking up at least three goals in all nine victories. The hosts have covered the -1.50 Asian Handicap line in each of those nine wins and can be backed to do so again at 1.76.
Leipzig are generating a huge 1.44 Expected Goals (xG) from open play on average, firing in over 10 shots per-game from inside the opposition’s penalty area with only perennial champions Bayern Munich matching Die Rotten Bullen’s outstanding offensive efforts across the campaign.
In contrast, visitors Werder Bremen are in the mire. The visitors had hoped their stirring Pokal win over Dortmund would prove turning point, but they slipped back into more Weserstadion misery as Union ran out 2-0 winners in Bremen.
Sporting director Frank Baumann again defended Florian Kohfeldt as Werder slipped into the bottom two, and turned his ire on to the players, saying, “We are all responsible but first and foremost, the team is responsible.” The guests have lost nine of their last 11 game, conceding at least twice in eight of those outings.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: RB Leipzig -1.50 at 1.760
Preview by: @MarkOHaire