RB Leipzig vs Werder Bremen: Preview and Prediction

RB Leipzig will aim to return to winning ways when they welcome Werder Bremen to the Red Bull Arena on Saturday.

The 2023/24 Bundesliga season reaches its penultimate stage this week, with the latest round of fixtures kicking off with the usual Friday fixture. Matchday 33 then continues on Saturday, with the action on the day starting with four simultaneous games, one of those being RB Leipzig vs Werder Bremen at the Red Bull Arena.

RB Leipzig would have hoped to challenge on multiple fronts under Marco Rose this season. They embarked on that objective with aplomb, cruising to a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich in the DFL Supercup. However, Rose’s men have not been competitive since then, with a fourth-placed finish beckoning in the Bundesliga, while they bowed out of the DFB Pokal in the second round and the UEFA Champions League in the round of 16.

As for Werder Bremen, they have not fallen prey to the dreaded “second season syndrome”. The Green-Whites began the season poorly, losing their first two matches to drop to the bottom of the table. Since then, they have enjoyed stability apart from a brief lull, where they failed to win a game in seven in the Bundesliga. However, Ole Werner’s men’s recent three-match unbeaten run has ensured their safety, helping them rise to 11th in the standings.

The reverse fixtures saw Werder Bremen come from a goal down to hold RB Leipzig to a 1-1 draw, with Justin Njinmah scoring the equaliser. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

RB Leipzig

Marco Rose has a new roster issue hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Werder Bremen on Saturday, the RB Leipzig manager will be bereft of the services of three first-team players.

Xavi Simons is the latest absentee, with the Dutch playmaker serving a suspension after seeing red last week. Simons has joined Xaver Schlager on the sidelines, with the Austrian midfielder recovering from a long-term knee injury. Meanwhile, Rose is sweating over the fitness of Christopher Lenz.

Janis Blaswich should get the nod over Peter Gulacsi between the sticks, with RB Leipzig lining up in a 4-2-2-2 formation in front of him against Werder Bremen. The backline will likely feature Benjamin Henrichs, Willi Orban, Castello Lukeba, and David Raum.

As for the midfield unit, Nicolas Seiwald should line up alongside Amadou Haidara in the double pivot. Christoph Baumgartner will likely replace Simons, joining Xavi Simons in the attacking setup. Finally, Lois Openda and Benjamin Sesko will be the two strikers for the home side.

Probable Lineup (4-2-2-2): Blaswich; Henrichs, Orban, Lukeba, Raum; Haidara, Seiwald; Olmo, Baumgartner; Openda, Sesko

Werder Bremen

Unlike his counterpart in the RB Leipzig dugout, Ole Werner has a few pressing concerns to deal with ahead of the trip to the Red Bull Arena. The Werder Bremen manager might be without five first-team players.

Naby Keita is serving an internal suspension for a disciplinary issue, while Amos Pieper (ankle) and Skelly Alvero (shoulder) are on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Werner is sweating over the fitness of Jiri Pavlenka and Justin Njinmah.

Michael Zetterer is an automatic pick between the sticks in the absence of Pavlenka. Werder Bremen will line up in a 3-5-2 formation in front of him against RB Leipzig. The central defensive unit should feature Milos Veljkovic, Anthony Jung, and captain Marco Friedl.

Mitchell Weiser and Felix Agu will likely start as the two wing-backs, with the duo contributing on both ends. As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Romano Schmid, Senne Lynen, and Leonardo Bittencourt. Finally, Marvin Ducksch and Nick Woltemade should be the two strikers for the away side on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Zetterer; Veljkovic, Friedl, Jung; Weiser, Schmid, Lynen, Bittencourt, Agu; Ducksch, Woltemade

Key Stats

  • Werder Bremen have managed only 0.62 points per Bundesliga game against RB Leipzig, losing 69 per cent of the meetings. That is their worst record against any top-flight club they have faced at least ten times.
  • RB Leipzig have lost only one of their last 13 Bundesliga games (W9 D3), which came against Bayern Munich. Since that defeat, they have embarked on a nine-match unbeaten run, with no other team claiming more points than them (23) during this run.
  • Werder Bremen are on a three-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga (W2 D1). Since the start of 2021, they have only managed one run of four games without a defeat in the top flight, which came earlier this season.
  • RB Leipzig have won five of their last six Bundesliga games (D1), conceding only one goal during this run.
  • RB Leipzig have scored nine goals from “fast breaks” in the Bundesliga this season, the joint highest in the league alongside FC Heidenheim. On the other hand, Werder Bremen have conceded eight times from “fast breaks”, with only SC Freiburg letting in more (9).

Player to Watch

Dani Olmo

Embed from Getty Images

With Xavi Simons unavailable, the onus will be on Dani Olmo to pull the strings in the final third and run the show for RB Leipzig. The Spanish international will also be eager to make his mark amid widespread rumours linking him with a summer departure.

The 26-year-old wants to return to Barcelona in the summer transfer window, although a move to the Premier League might be on the cards. So, Olmo will aim to bow out with a bang if Saturday’s clash with Werder Bremen is his final game at the Red Bull Arena.


RB Leipzig 2-1 Werder Bremen

The match pits two in-form teams, with Werder Bremen sealing a spot in the Bundesliga for a third successive season. On the other hand, RB Leipzig will compete in the UEFA Champions League next term after clinching a place in the top five. So, neither side will have anything but pride to play for on Saturday.

So, expect a breezy contest, even though both teams will look for a win. That will leave the result depending on the quality on the day, and RB Leipzig should have enough to eke out a narrow 2-1 win over Werder Bremen.

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