RB Leipzig vs Augsburg preview:
Die Roten Bullen aiming to move into the top four
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
After missing out on the Europa League final, RB Leipzig can still end the week on a high if they achieve a positive result against Augsburg on Sunday, which would lift Die Roten Bullen into the Champions League places.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
RB Leipzig will need to pick themselves up for Sunday's contest after they missed out on a place in the Europa League final.
Die Roten Bullen entered the second leg of their semi-final against Rangers with a 1-0 lead, but they got off to the worst possible start. James Taverner and Glen Kamara both found the net in the opening 24 minutes, although the contest looked to be heading towards an extra time when Christopher Nkunku struck in the second half. However, an 81st-minute goal from John Lundstrum condemned Leipzig to a 3-2 aggregate defeat, ending their hopes of a double.
They still have a DFB-Pokal final to look forward to, but their quest for a Champions League place hit a stumbling block last weekend when Leipzig lost 3-1 to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
That result saw Die Roten Bullen drop out of the top four. Although they now occupy fifth place, Freiburg's defeat to Union Berlin on Saturday presents Leipzig with the chance to move into the Champions League places. Domenico Tedesco's side currently sit one point adrift of the top four, so a positive result against Augsburg would move them back into the Champions League spots, ahead of the final game of the season.
The signs are positive for the hosts, with only two of their 16 home league games ending in defeat, while they have lost one of their last seven Bundesliga home matches.
Amadou Haidara will miss out for Leipzig due to a knee injury, while Mohamed Simakan will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.
Augsburg currently sit in 14th position, with six points separating them from the relegation playoff spot. They head into Sunday's encounter knowing that a point would make sure of their place in the Bundesliga, although if Stuttgart fail to beat Bayern Munich then Augsburg will take to the field against Leipzig with their safety already guaranteed.
The Fuggerstädter have lost three of their last four matches, including a 4-1 defeat to FC Köln last weekend. That result represented back-to-back home defeats, but the visitors do have the chance to clinch consecutive away victories after beating Bochum 1-0 in their most recent away trip.
Markus Weinzierl can be encouraged that his side have scored in six of their last seven away matches and they did manage to hold Leipzig to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, although Augsburg have lost four of their previous five away meetings with Leipzig.
The visitors are without the services of Noah Sarenren Bazee and Tobias Strobl, who both miss out due to injury issues. Mads Pedersen is unavailable for Augsburg after serving a one-match suspension.