Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Häcken

Expedition Europa season two commences this Thursday as, for the first time, RB Leipzig welcome Swedish opposition to the Red Bull Arena in the UEFA Europa League second qualification round first leg.

Finishing 6th in the Bundesliga last season, a place in the Europa League group stage was almost assured for RB Leipzig, but their fate was in hands of those competing in the following weekend’s DFB-Pokal, unfortunately, Eintracht Frankfurt came out victors and condemned Leipzig to the misery that is a season that begins in July.

The first hurdle to overcome en route to the group stage is Häcken, who are much more prepared for this encounter than their opposition as their domestic campaign began in April, and have also partaken in European competition, having overcome Virslīga runners-up Liepāja in the previous round. Despite securing a 3-0 win on their trip to Latvia, they fell short in front of a home crowd, succumbing to a 2-1 defeat.

The host’s preparations for this fixture have been far from ideal. Beginning pre-season training just over a week ago, Leipzig have only been able to squeeze in two friendlies against lower league opposition, so the fitness levels is not the desired standard, which could cause them trouble against a much more prepared opponent. On a positive note, Häcken enter the game on the back of three consecutive defeats and currently sit 10th in the Allsvenskan with 18 points from 14 matches.

Match Information

Date: Thursday, July 26, 2018

Kick-off: 18:30 (CEST)

Venue: Red Bull Arena

Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (Macedonia)

Broadcasting: TBA

Current Form

RB Leipzig

1919 Grimma 0-7 (A) | Meuselwitz 2-2 (A)

Häcken

Sundsvall 3-0 (H) | Liepāja 0-3 (A) | Norrköping 2-1 (A) | Liepāja 1-2 (H) | Djurgården 2-1 (A)

Team News

RB Leipzig

Injured: Dayot Upamecano (calf) | Marcel Halstenberg (anterior cruciate ligament) | Konrad Laimer (groin strain)

Absent: Emil Forsberg (recovering) | Timo Werner (recovering) | Yussuf Poulsen (recovering) |

Häcken

N/A

Predicted Line-ups

RB Leipzig

Gulácsi

Klostermann – Konaté – Orban – Saracchi

Mukiele – Demme – Kampl

Augustin – Cunha – Bruma

Häcken

Abrahamsson

Andersson – Lindgren – Hammar – Arkivuo

Friberg – Irandust – Falsetas

Çelik – Jeremejeff – Paulinho

Score Prediction

RB Leipzig 2-1 Häcken

[Photo: Picture Point]

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