Coming off a shock 2-0 loss to Mainz, Leipzig host Freiburg in the last Bundesliga contest before the international break.
|Photo: RB Leipzig
Leipzig followed up a Pokal loss to Wolfsburg and a defeat to Mainz with a narrow win over Crvena zvezda to advance in the Champions League. Despite these recent losses, the mood seems high in the Red Bull camp, as the club are 5th in the table and look confident in claiming yet another top four finish this season.
New signing Loïs Openda is scoring at will up front and the play of wing-backs Benjamin Henrichs and David Raum has improved. Xavi Simmons, who’s nearly been a must-start in fantasy football, will be needed this weekend if Leipzig want to head into the international break on a high note.
In his presser, Marco Rose stated, "Every positive result has an effect on the mood in the dressing room. Whenever we achieve one of our short-term goals, like reaching the last 16 of the Champions League, we feel good. It makes us more confident.”
Yussuf Poulsen is questionable, while Timo Werner will play after returning to full team training on Friday. Willi Orban, Dani Olmo, and El Chadaille Bitshiabu will remain unavailable. In other news, Janis Blaswich, who has taken over the reins in goal from Peter Gulacsi, received his first call-up to the German national team.
Freiburg demolished Backa Topola this week 5-0 to move closer to a return into the Europa League knockout stage. It was a needed result, having failed to win any of their last three matches including a surprise loss to Paderborn in the Pokal.
A youth surge is hitting the club as Noah Weißhaupt, Merlin Röhl, and Junior Adamu have all scored their first goals within the last week. On Sunday, Christian Streich will likely continue with a back three formation and Röhl in an advanced midfield role alongside in-form Maximilian Eggestein.
After their Thursday win, the quotable Streich said, “With the boys, we just have to make sure that we leave the church in the village and that they can work in peace. The (youngsters) need a clear head so that they don't go crazy because they played two good games. - Now the next big thing comes on Sunday, so we’ll see whether we can hold our own and show a good performance.”
Christian Günter, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, Roland Sallai, and Maximilian Philipp are out.