A fortnight’s worth of international football has come to an end, which means the Bundesliga returns to action this weekend, and RB Leipzig welcome Hannover 96 to the Red Bull Arena with the hope of kick-starting their season and maintaining their 100% record over Die Roten.
A return to domestic action could not have come soon enough for Leipzig. After the worst start to a league campaign in their short career as a top-flight outfit, outrage amongst two nation’s football associations was sparked when Jean-Kévin Augustin and Konrad Laimer rejected call-ups due to fatigue, yet respectively played 45 and 73 minutes in RB Leipzig’s friendly against Zagłębie Lubin last Thursday.
As touched upon, it has been a woeful start to Ralf Rangnick’s second stint at the reins. Returning to Leipzig after a 4-1 thrashing by Dortmund on Matchday 1, newly-promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf came to town and were able to secure a point, despite taking a second-half lead, and could’ve won the star prize had it not been for a Jean-Kévin Augustin equaliser and Péter Gulácsi in between the posts.
This weekend’s guests come into the game in somewhat good form, irrespective of what the two points out of a possible six indicate. Securing the first on the road to Bremen, they hosted the side that put four past this week’s opposition in Borussia Dortmund and were able to grind out a 0-0 draw with a touch of fortune on their side as Dortmund struck the post on two occasions.
Marcel Halstenberg made his first appearance since December against Zagłębie Lubin, but he remains unavailable for selection as he still lacks match-fitness. Kevin Kampl is fit and available after a premature return from international duty due to a laceration on his left ankle.
Date: Saturday, September 15, 2018
Kick-off: 15:30 (CEST)
Venue: Red Bull Arena
Referee: Robert Kampka
Broadcasting: Sky Sports Bundesliga 1 (Germany) | Fox Sports 2 (United States)
04.11.17: RB Leipzig 2-1 Hannover 96
31.03.18: Hannover 96 2-3 RB Leipzig
Zorya Luhansk 0-0 (A) | Borussia Dortmund 4-1 (A) | Zorya Luhansk 3-2 (H) | Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-1 (H) | Zagłębie Lubin 1-0 (H)
Udinese 2-1 (H) | Athletic Bilbao 2-0 (H) | Karlsruher 0-6 (A) | Werder Bremen 1-1 (A) | Borussia Dortmund 0-0 (H)
Absent: Marcel Halstenberg (match fitness)
Injured: Edgar Prib (cruciate ligament) | Timo Hübers (cruciate ligament)
Mukiele – Orban – Upamecano – Saracchi
Laimer – Demme
Kampl – Bruma
Augustin – Cunha
Sorg – Anton – Wimmer
Maina – Fossum – Walace – Albornoz
Asano – Füllkrug
Ralf Rangnick: “Defensively, Hannover will try to restrict our time and space on the ball. In attack, they’re sure to cause us problems on the counter.
We need to find a good sense of defensive stability against Hannover, particularly around our own box. This will be our focus for Saturday as well as for the other games to come.
We need to restrict our opponent from goalscoring chances and in turn, threaten their goal as much as possible. We fully intend to win the game on Saturday and thus go into the subsequent matches full of confidence.”
RB Leipzig 1-1 Hannover 96