Dortmund v RB Leipzig – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets
Dortmund host RB Leipzig at Signal-Iduna-Park on Saturday afternoon in the Bundesliga. The hosts need a victory to keep their top four hopes alive as they currently trail 3rd and 4th spots by one and two points respectively. RB Leipzig are technically still in the title race and a win would close the gap to four points – at least until leaders Bayern Munich host Borussia Monchengladbach later in the day. Dortmund and RB Leipzig are set to meet in the DFB Cup final on 13 May so this serves as a dress rehearsal.
Dortmund have been in good form of late. Having won four matches in a row in mid-February, they then lost four of their next eight matches including home and away against Manchester City in the Champions League and at home against Eintracht Frankfurt, the side currently fourth in the Bundesliga.
Domestically, BVB are in good shape. They have won four league matches on the bounce with 11 goals scored. Their last Bundesliga match saw a 2-0 win at Wolfsburg as Erling Haaland scored a brace. Last weekend, Edin Terzic’s side beat Holstein Kiel 5-0 to reach the DFB cup final.
Dortmund Team News
There are a couple of issues for coach Edin Terzic to deal with for this match. Jude Bellingham is suspended in midfield so Emre Can could play in that role. Mateu Morey is missing at right back after an injury last weekend so veteran Lukasz Piszczek could deputise.
Erling Haaland was rested against Holstein Kiel but will return to start this match. Jaden Sancho played 90 minutes in that clash after injury and should again start on the right wing while Gio Reyna’s brace in that semi-final should secure him a start on the left if he can shake off a slight calf concern
Dortmund desperately need three points from this match. The two teams above them have winnable home matches this weekend so anything less than three points would be a big blow to their chances of a top four finish.
Terzic’s side have been free-scoring of late and with Sancho and Reyna fit again and Haaland fresh after a rest last weekend, they will attack RB Leipzig.
RB Leipzig Form
Leipzig had found themselves in excellent league (seven wins and a draw in eight matches) going into their big title clash against Bayern Munich in early April. A defeat there made their title chances remote and the side have since drawn 0-0 with Hoffenheim and lost 2-1 at Koln.
Nagelsmann is leaving for Bayern Munich and perhaps that has seen the side’s motivation take a dip. They did bounce back to beat Stuttgart 2-0 in their last Bundesliga match before reaching the DFP Cup final last weekend with a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen after extra time
RB Leipzig Team News
Julian Nagelsmann has a few injuries to deal with ahead of this match. Young winger Lazar Samardzic is absent with knee injury and there are three injury doubts in midfield Tyler Adams, attacking midfielder Christopher Nkunku and wide man Dominik Szoboszlai.
Centre back Ibrahima Konate has finally found himself playing more minutes after long-term injury although he is often substituted early or used from the bench. It remains to be seen if he will be trusted to start this match. Left wingback Angelino is back and fully fit now after an injury kept him out for several weeks.
RB Leipzig Motivation
Leipzig will be motivated to play well and to try to win the match to prolong the title race but realistically, that will be over if Bayern win this weekend. Second place looks secured for Nagelsmann’s team and their main focus will be on the DFK Cup final on Thursday against Dortmund.
A draw would not be a bad result as long as there are no fresh injuries and the coach could even rotate his side to keep some options up his sleeve to surprise BVB in the cup final
Dortmund have won their last 4 matches
BVB have won 4 of their last 5 home Bundesliga matches (L1)
Dortmund have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 5 home Bundesliga matches
Dortmund are 6 matches unbeaten against RB Leipzig (W4, D2)
RB Leipzig have lost 2 of their last 5 Bundesliga matches
14 of RB Leipzig’s last 16 league goals have come in the second half
RB Leipzig have won 5 of their last 6 away Bundesliga matches
Nagelsmann has only won 1 of his 10 Bundesliga meetings with Dortmund (L5, D4)
Haaland has scored 25 Bundesliga goals this season (goal every 89 mins)
This should be an entertaining match but not necessarily a goal-fest. Leipzig are strong at the back but Dortmund have more to play for in the league and are in better form. They also have an excellent record against both RB Leipzig and against Nagelsmann across his time as a Bundesliga head coach.