1.Bundesliga Matchweek 9 Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Arminia Bielefeld

RB Leipzig host Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga on Saturday with the home side looking to get back to winning ways after a difficult week.

The visitors, meanwhile, have dropped into 16th place in the table after a dismal run of six consecutive defeats.

Match preview

Julian Nagelsmann's side followed up a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend by losing 1-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in a crucial Champions League encounter in midweek, leaving them behind the French side in the group with only two matches remaining.

Leipzig did do well to recover a point at Frankfurt, though, having trailed at the half-time interval through Aymen Barkok's strike. Evan N'Dicka's long free-kick was misjudged in the air by Dayot Upamecano - not for the first time in recent weeks - with the winger racing onto the loose ball to score his first Bundesliga goal in almost four years after an impressive cameo at Stuttgart had earned the 22-year-old a rare start.

Yussuf Poulsen was sent on during the break and made a huge impact, superbly steering Angelino's cross into the far corner with the deftest of touches using the outside of his foot. The Denmark striker is building quite the repertoire of picture book goals after his Marco van Basten-esque strike against Augsburg earlier in the campaign.

Ultimately, Leipzig were more than content to walk away from the game with a point after Andre Silva fired straight at Peter Gulasci towards the end of the match having been played through on goal, but the loss in Paris may have considerably damaged morale. The upcoming home match against a side on a terrible run of form, then, could prove to be the perfect remedy.

Indeed, after making a decent start upon gaining promotion to compete in the Bundesliga for the first time since the 2008-09 season by gaining four points from their first two games, Arminia have failed to pick up a single point in their six games since.

In fairness, Uwe Neuhaus's side have had a difficult run of fixtures, losing to four of last season's top seven in the shape of Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen.

The latter were deserved winners last weekend, with Leon Bailey smashing Peter Bosz's side into the lead after a confident start from the visitors. However, Arminia were very close to gaining a surprise point despite not having a single shot in the entire 90 minutes. Neuhaus's side's equaliser came via Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky's comical own goal, with the Finland international somehow slicing the ball into his own net from Daley Sinkgraven's backpass.

Hradecky's blushes were spared with Arminia hearts simultaneously sunken by Aleksandar Dragovic's 88th-minute winner. Matters are certainly not getting any easier for Arminia, either, with a trip to Leipzig this weekend, but Neuhaus must ensure his players keep faith in the process with fixtures against potential relegation rivals Freiburg, Mainz 05 and Schalke 04 on the horizon.

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form: WWWLWD
RB Leipzig form (all competitions): LLWWDL

Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga form: LLLLLL

Team News

Leipzig remain without long-term absentees Konrad Laimer (ankle), Lukas Klostermann and Fabrice Hartmann (both knee) for the visit of Arminia.

Summer signing Hwang Hee-chan is also unavailable due to coronavirus, with Poulsen and Emil Forsberg likely to come into the starting XI from last weekend's draw against Frankfurt.

Neuhaus, meanwhile, appears to be in the enviable position of having no injury or suspension concerns to contend with.

32-year-old forward Fabian Klos still remains without a goal at the top level despite amassing 154 league goals in the lower levels of German football, though, and is surely at risk of being dropped sooner or later despite his legendary status at the club.

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulasci; Adams, Konate, Upamecano, Angelino; Sabitzer, Kampl; Nkunku, Olmo, Forsberg; Poulsen

Arminia Bielefeld possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Brunner, Pieper, van der Hoorn, Lucoqui; Doan, Prietl, Seufert, Hartel, Yabo; Klos

Source: Sports Mole / Brett Curtis 


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