RB Leipzig vs VfL Wolfsburg: Preview and Prediction

RB Leipzig will look to extend their unbeaten run when they take on a faltering VfL Wolfsburg at Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Looking to consolidate their spot in the top four, RB Leipzig will welcome VfL Wolfsburg to the Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon. Although Leipzig might have suffered Champions League heartbreak last month, suffering a narrow 2-1 aggregate defeat at the hands of Spanish giants Real Madrid, Marco Rose’s men have since bounced back in some style.

They have won four and drawn one of their last five Bundesliga games with an impressive tally of 15 goals scored, as they stormed their way to a 4-1 romp away at SC Freiburg last time out. In a fight with Dortmund for fourth place, Leipzig find themselves locked together in fourth place, seven points behind third-placed Stuttgart.

Ralph Hasenhuttl started his reign as Wolfsburg coach with a valuable 2-0 win at Werder Bremen, which was the visitors first victory in 12 games. But they suffered a reality check against Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend as his side went down 3-1 at home.

A five-point gap above the relegation playoff space is perhaps a bit close for comfort, and they now face a difficult task to take anything from this in-form Leipzig side. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on Saturday and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

RB Leipzig

Denmark international Yussuf Poulsen was forced off during RB Leipzig’s draw against FSV Mainz at the end of last month due to a muscle injury and remains sidelined for weeks. The only other absentee for the hosts here is David Raum, who received his fifth yellow card of the season during the match against Freiburg and will serve his one-match suspension this weekend.

Marco Rose is expected to field his side in a classic 4-2-2-2 RB Leipzig formation, with Peter Gulacsi in goal. The Hungarian goalkeeper will be protected by the back four of Mohamed Simakan, Castello Lukeba, Willi Orban, and Benjamin Henrichs.

The quartet of Amadou Haidara, Xaver Schlager, Dani Olmo, and Xavi Simons will start in central midfield, with the latter two tasked with providing width. Lois Openda has been invaluable to Die Roten Bullen this season, currently leading the squad with 21 goals.

The 24-year-old will lead the line in this one alongside Benjamin Sesko. The Belgian attacker took the game to Freiburg last time out and his sheer pace and relentless work ethic will likely give nightmares to the visitors’ defence here.

Probable Lineup (4-2-2-2): Gulacsi; Simakan, Orban, Lukeba, Henrichs; Haidara, Schlage;, Olmo, Simons; Openda, Sesko

VfL Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg could be without as many as six players for this Saturday’s game. Koen Casteels remains sidelined with a shoulder injury, meaning Pavao Pervan could continue in between the sticks.

Kevin Paredes and Lukas Nmecha are ruled out with muscle injuries, while Rogerio is struggling with a knock and is listed as questionable. Defender Maxence Lacroix is still suspended after being shown a straight red in the side’s 2-0 win over Werder Bremen at the end of last month, so Sebastiaan Bornauw will partner Jenz in central defence, flanked by full-backs Joakim Maehle and Yannick Gerhardt.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s midfield unit picks itself, with Mattias Svanberg and Maximilian Arnold operating in the double-pivot of a 4-4-2. Ridle Baku and Patrick Wimmer providing width. Jonas Wind should retain his spot up front alongside Tiago Tomas.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pervan; Maehle, Bornauw, Jenz, Gerhardt; Baku, Svanberg, Arnold, Wimmer; Tomas, Wind

Key Stats

  • RB Leipzig have scored at least two goals in nine of their last 11 Bundesliga matches.
  • RB Leipzig have won six of their last eight home matches against Wolfsburg.
  • Wolfsburg have lost four of their last five games.
  • Leipzig have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four Bundesliga home matches.
  • Six of Wolfsburg’s last seven away league matches have featured fewer than three goals.

Player to Watch

Lois Openda

Embed from Getty Images

A relentless attacking performance from RB Leipzig blew SC Freiburg away with three goals before half-time, putting the game out of reach for the home side. Indeed, Lois Openda was on fire during Saturday’s 4-1 win over Freiburg, and was involved in all four goals (2G, 2A).

The 24-year-old forward moved to the Bundesliga last summer from French side RC Lens for around €43 million after a standout season in France and has now racked up an impressive 31 goal contributions in all competitions this campaign.


RB Leipzig 2-1 VfL Wolfsburg

While Wolfsburg won the reverse fixture 2-1, that game was at Volkswagen Arena. Back at home and in good form, we feel the hosts can get the job done on home soil to maintain their push for a Champions League spot. Anything but a home win for RB Leipzig will be a massive surprise, and with goals flowing freely, Wolfsburg could be in for a defeat.

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