With the recent recruitment of Ademola Lookman on loan from Everton and the appointment of the highly-rated Paul Mitchell as head of recruitment and development, Leipzig have had a mini invasion of Englishman off the pitch, but it’s on the pitch that matters this week as Die Roten Bullen welcome Augsburg to the Red Bull Arena.
In the reverse fixture earlier in season, Augsburg took a very early lead through Austrian international Michael Gregoritsch as he fired past Mvogo within 4 minutes of the latter’s debut. After Caiuby opened the visitor’s up on the counter. Despite Leipzig’s best efforts, they were unable to break down the home side, who were able to hold on. Succumbing to their 2nd defeat of the season in only their 5th game.
Whilst the result was a surprise at the time, Augsburg have displayed commendable team spirit ever since, and have deservedly earned themselves a place in 7th – 2 points away from the final European qualification place. Manuel Baum’s side go into Friday’s fixture in good spirit, having defeated the Bundesliga’s other surprise package Eintracht Frankfurt in a comprehensive fashion last weekend. Winning 3-0 at the WWK Arena.
Meanwhile, Leipzig too prepare for the game in a good frame of mind, after snatching all 3 points away from Borussia Mönchengladbach on their trip to Borussia-Park. Thanks to a last-minute winner from Ademola Lookman, 11 minutes after the England U21 international came on for his debut. Slipping his way into the fan’s hearts, the 19-year-old’s match-winning goal meant that Leipzig moved up to 3rd in the table, level on points with Leverkusen.
Date: Friday 9th February 2018.
Kick-off: 19:30 (CET).
Venue: Red Bull Arena.
Referee: Sven Jablonski.
Broadcasting: BT Sport 3 (UK), Fox Sports 2 (USA).
Augsburg 1-0 RB Leipzig | Augsburg 2-2 RB Leipzig | RB Leipzig 2-1 Augsburg.
RB Leipzig: W | D | L | W | L
Augsburg: W | D | L | W | D
One To Watch
While Augsburg’s front-line consists of Caiuby, Koo Ja Cheol and Gregoritsch – who, in their own right, have been impressive – the visitor’s main offensive threat could be in the form of 24-year-old German left-back, Philipp Max. Attracting the interest of Premier League giants Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, Max leads the way in the Bundesliga assists chart with 10 in 21 appearances (1 per 1.9 games), 3 more than 2nd placed Joshua Kimmich (formerly of Leipzig). Due to Leipzig’s desire to have their full-backs act like wingers, Max will have most joy exploiting the space that has been vacated in the wide areas, and should Augsburg achieve the double over their opponents for the first time, it’ll be down to their star full-back.
Injured: Marcel Halstenberg (Cruciate Ligament Rupture).
Absent: Emil Forsberg (Lacking Match Fitness).
Injured: Alfred Finnboggason (Calf Injury) | Jeffrey Gouweleeuw (Ruptured Knee Ligament).
Absent: Daniel Opare (Contract Dispute).
Laimer – Orban – Upamecano – Klostermann
Keïta – Kampl
Sabitzer – Werner – Bruma
Framberger – Danso – Hinteregger – Max
Morávek – Baier
Richter – Koo – Caiuby
RB Leipzig 1-1 Augsburg