RB Leipzig will look to kick-start the UEFA Champions League campaign strongly when they take on BSC Young Boys at the Wankdorf Stadium on Tuesday.

The 2023/24 UEFA Champions League will begin this midweek with Matchday 1 of the group stage. RB Leipzig will look to take a step towards reaching the knockout stages when they lock horns with BSC Young Boys at the Wankdorf Stadium on Tuesday night.

BSC Young Boys had to take the scenic route to UEFA Champions League qualification. They beat Maccabi Haifa in the play-offs to reach the group stage. Meanwhile, Raphael Wicky’s men have started their 2023/24 domestic campaign strongly, beating Neuchatel Xamax 1-0 while rising to the second spot in the Swiss Super League standings.

On the other hand, RB Leipzig qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage by clinching a top-four finish in the Bundesliga last season. And they are only a point behind Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich, with both clubs level on points atop the German top flight. Meanwhile, Marco Rose’s men have already won a trophy this season, beating Bayern Munich 3-0 to win the DFL-Supercup.

BSC Young Boys and RB Leipzig will clash for the first time on Tuesday, and The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the maiden meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

BSC Young Boys

Raphael Wicky does not have any injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s opening UEFA Champions League fixture. Against RB Leipzig on Tuesday, the BSC Young Boys manager will have a full-strength squad.

Wicky will likely line his side up in a 4-3-1-2 formation, with Anthony Racioppi taking his place in the goal. Mohamed Camara and Loris Benito should form the central defensive partnership, with Saidy Janko and Noah Persson being the two full-backs.

As for the midfield unit, Sandro Lauper will look to keep things tight in the middle of the park. Darian Males and Joel Monteiro will support Lauper in the centre of the pitch, with Monteiro often charging forward to join the offensive trio.

Lukasz Lakomy will have a free role in the final third, with the 22-year-old pulling the strings in the final third. Finally, Cedric Itten and Meschack Elia will spearhead the Young Boys attack against RB Leipzig, shouldering most of the goalscoring burden.

Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Racioppi; Janko, Camara, Benito, Persson; Males, Lauper, Monteiro; Lakomy; Itten, Elia

RB Leipzig

Unlike his counterpart in the BSC Young Boys dugout, Marco Rose has many roster issues to deal with ahead of the trip to the Wankdorf Stadium. The RB Leipzig manager might be without as many as seven first-team players.

Lukas Klostermann (illness) and David Raum (knock) face a race against time to be available for the game. But Willi Orban (knee), Amadou Haidara (calf), El Chadaille Bitshiabu (knee), Andre Silva (hip), and Dani Olmo (knee) are unavailable for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, Peter Gulacsi has been inching closer to his return to action in the last few days. But Janis Blaswich will retain his spot between the sticks, with RB Leipzig lining up in a 4-2-2-2 formation in front of him.

With Raum struggling to regain his fitness in time, Christopher Lenz should start as the left-back. Benjamin Henrichs will feature on the opposite flank, with Mohamed Simakan and Castello Lukeba forming the central defensive pairing.

As for the midfield unit, Xaver Schlager and Kevin Kampl have been the first-choice central midfielders for RB Leipzig. The duo will aim to shore up things in the middle of the park while looking to push the visitors forward at a quick tempo.

Xavi Simons has been the in-form player for Leipzig thus far this season. The Dutchman will join Emil Forsberg, Lois Openda, and Timo Werner in the final third. So, Benjamin Sesko will find himself on the bench, hoping to make an impact off the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-2-2-2): Blaswich; Henrichs, Simakan, Lukeba, Lenz; Schlager, Kampl; Simons, Forsberg; Openda, Werner

Key Stats

  • Tuesday’s fixture will be the first-ever competitive meeting between BSC Young Boys and RB Leipzig.
  • Young Boys have made an unbeaten start to their season, winning six of their nine opening matches in all competitions. They have won all three home games. RB Leipzig have won their last three outings, scoring 11 and conceding just once.
  • Young Boys have won their last two games against German opponents in all competitions (both v Bayer Leverkusen in the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League), more than they had in their previous 10 (W1 D3 L6).
  • Both of Young Boys’ UEFA Champions League victories have come at home (D3 L7). They have lost five of their six fixtures on the road, with their only point coming in a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in December 2021.
  • Young Boys have never kept a clean sheet in the UEFA Champions League, conceding 24 goals in 12 games.

Player to Watch

Lois Openda

Embed from Getty Images

RB Leipzig made a few game-changing signings in the summer transfer window. One of those was Lois Openda, the Bundesliga club’s record arrival. And the Belgian international has hit the ground running in Germany, scoring thrice while providing an assist in four top-flight fixtures.

The 23-year-old still has his best years ahead of him and should continue to rise in stature at the Bundesliga club. And he will be eager to make his mark in the UEFA Champions League, starting with the game against BSC Young Boys on Tuesday.


BSC Young Boys 0-1 RB Leipzig

BSC Young Boys and RB Leipzig are two of the most in-form teams in the UEFA Champions League. And neither team has been conceding many goals thus far in the 2023/24 season. So, the game should not have much goalmouth action, with both teams waging a tactical battle.

But the gulf in quality between the two sides leans favourably in RB Leipzig’s favour. Marco Rose also tends to be at his tactical best in tight fixtures. So, the visitors should manage a narrow 1-0 win to kick-start the UEFA Champions League group stage with a crucial victory.

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