Following a last-minute heartbreak on Thursday night, RB Leipzig turn their attention back to the Bundesliga as they make the near 800 kilometre round trip to face Eintracht Frankfurt at the Commerzbank Arena on Sunday.
In their first-ever Europa League group stage match, Leipzig hosted Red Bull Salzburg in the first competitive Red Bull derby, but it was the Austrians that had their wings in hand. In a dominant performance, Salzburg took advantage of Leipzig’s disorganisation to take a two-goal lead into the half-time break. However, Leipzig fought back and levelled the score with eight minutes to spare. In spite of their efforts, a succession of spectacular passes left Mvogo in a one-on-one situation and he was left clawing at air as Salzburg secured a sublime late winner.
Eintracht Frankfurt were also in Europa League action midweek, with them travelling to the south of France to contest with last season’s finalists Olympique Marseille in a behind-closed-doors encounter. Despite the disadvantage of going a goal down early on, then a man down in the second-half, Adi Hütter’s side overturned the deficit with an 89th-minute winner to win 2-1 and go top of Group H.
So far this season, Frankfurt have struggled under new leadership. Having endured humiliation in the Super Cup and DFB-Pokal at the hands of Bayern Munich and Regionalliga side Ulm 1846, they started their Bundesliga campaign with a 2-0 win away to Freiburg, but since then Die Adler have suffered defeats to Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund, leaving them placed 13th in the standings, one point behind this week’s opponents.
When the two last came head-to-head at the Commerzbank Arena, the spectacle on the pitch was outshone by the antics off it. In the first Monday night fixture of the season, both kick-offs were delayed due to protests by the Frankfurt faithful. The game was initially put back by six minutes as the fans peacefully made their way towards the advertisement boarding to unveil a banner. Before the second-half began, stewards and players alike had to clear the pitch after tennis balls and toilet roll was launched from the stands. In the end, the home side came out 2-1 victors.
Date: Sunday, September 23, 2018
Kick-off: 18:00 (CEST)
Venue: Commerzbank Arena (capacity: 51,500)
Referee: Felix Bryche
Broadcasting: Sky Sport Bundesliga 1 (Germany) | BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom) | Fox Sports 1 (Unites States)
21.01.17: RB Leipzig 3-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
20.05.17: Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 RB Leipzig
23.09.17: RB Leipzig 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
19.02.18: Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 RB Leipzig
Freiburg 0-2 (A) | Werder Bremen 1-2 (H) | Ederbergland 0-5 (A) | Borussia Dortmund 3-1 (A) | Olympique Marseille 1-2 (A)
Zorya Luhansk 3-2 (H) | Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-1 (H) | Zagłębie Lubin 1-0 (H) | Hannover 96 3-2 (H) | Red Bull Salzburg 2-3 (H)
Injured: Timothy Chandler (knee) | Carlos Salcedo (syndesmotic ligament) | Gonçalo Paciência (meniscus) | Ante Rebić (knee) | Chico Geraldes (back) | Frederik Rønnow (knee) | Taleb Tawatha (back)
Injured: Lukas Klostermann (knee)
Doubtful: Timo Werner (knee)
da Costa – Abraham – Ndicka – Willems
Torró – Fernandes
Fabián – Gaćinović – Kostić
Laimer – Orban – Upamecano – Saracchi
Sabitzer – Demme – Kampl
Poulsen – Cunha
Ralf Rangnick: “Frankfurt also had a game on Thursday evening. Psychologically, both teams will go into the game on Sunday on a level playing field. It is important that we show a big reaction against Eintracht Frankfurt.
It is important that we become more compact. We need to prevent the opposition having so many chances and concede less goals. We need to defend better as a team.”
Quotes via Twitter/@RBLeipzig_EN
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 RB Leipzig
[Photo: Imago/Thomas Frey]