Bundesliga: Down to the Wire in Deutschland

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RB Leipzig 0-0 Bayern Munich

After their victory over Hamburg last weekend, coupled with nearest rivals Borussia Dortmund being held by Werder Bremen, this was billed by many as the day Bayern Munich would clinch a seventh successive Bundesliga title.

The us Bundesliga betting odds predicted it too, even though this was always going to be a tough fixture.

And so it proved as RB Leipzig consolidated third spot and held the champions to ensure the most thrilling title race for years in Germany will go down to the final day of the season next weekend.

Highlights of the game

Perhaps a goalless draw meant both sides didn’t want to give too much away ahead of their German Cup Final clash in a fortnight’s time.

Either way, we weren’t short of Bundesliga highlights despite the lack of goals.

The Red Bull Arena anticipated an exciting contest and it got one.

Bayern fans received a pre-match boost when top scorer Robert Lewandowski was passed fit to play, despite a scare in training.

That certainly helped the visitors who were already missing Manuel Neuer, Javi Martinez and James Rodriguez.

Yet there was no chance of Leipzig taking it easy, even if they have already secured Champions League football for next season, as they extended their unbeaten run to 15 matches.

Timo Werner has stopped to lead RB Leipzig after experiencing pain during their Bundesliga clash with Bayern Munich

RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner lies on the ground in pain during their Bundesliga clash with Bayern Munich

From the first whistle, the hosts were full of energy and Timo Werner was a lively outlet.

Bayern had early chances, however, with Serge Gnabry hitting a tame effort straight at Peter Gulacsi and Lewandowski firing wide after the home keeper managed to pressure the Polish frontman.

Up at the other end, Yussuf Poulsen saw a shot blocked by Mats Hummels who then crucially deflected a Marcel Sabitzer attempt to safety.

A Gnabry volley and Werner shot raised brief alarm bells at either end as a feisty opening half drew to a close.

Five minutes into the second period came the main talking point of the afternoon.

A Gnabry cross was only half cleared by Ibrahima Konate and Leon Goretzka sent a smart volley into the net only for Lewandowski to be ruled marginally offside, courtesy of VAR.

It prompted Bayern’s best spell of the encounter with the impressive Gulacsi smothering a Thomas Muller cross before Gnabry struck the corner of post and bar – an offside flag subsequently meant it would not have counted anyway.

Wing wizards Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, nearing the end of their Bayern careers, were both brought on as Niko Kovac’s men chased a title-clinching victory.

That looked to have arrived in the closing stages but a combination of Gulacsi and Konate kept out Lewandowski who then fired a free-kick within inches of the goal with the keeper motionless.

Since their destruction of Dortmund a month ago, Bayern have been clear favourites to retain the title.

And while they still are, this result, coupled with Dortmund’s 3-2 success against Dusseldorf, means they are now only two points clear with one game remaining.

A draw in their final league match will be enough to retain their crown, assuming Dortmund do not win by 18 goals!

History is certainly with Bayern but, for now, this title race is still very much alive.

Key statistics

This was Rafinha’s 266th competitive match for Bayern, drawing him level with fellow Brazilian Giovane Elber.

Bayern Munich and Leipzig have both scored 11 times in the first 15 minutes of matches this season – more than any other teams in the German top flight.

Leipzig are unbeaten in their last 15 (won 10, drawn five). That is a new club record.

Gulacsi has kept more clean sheets this season (16) than any other custodian. Bayern stopper Sven Ulreich has four shut-outs in eight league games this term.

Ribery could win a record-breaking ninth Bundesliga title if Bayern are crowned champions next week, one more than fellow club legends Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Oliver Kahn and Mehmet Scholl.

Chelsea Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 1.99 1X2 Arsenal @ 3.25 Over 2.50 @ 2.05 Third Line text CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Europa League

A side on top of the Bundesliga going into the final day of the season has only been defeated three times in history. The last occasion was in 1999-2000 when Bayer Leverkusen lost away to Unterhaching and Bayern celebrated the championship winning 3-1 at home to Werder Bremen and claiming the title due to their superior goal difference.

With an average of 3.14 goals per match, the Bundesliga is the European top-flight league with the most goals in the 2018-19 season – ahead of the Premier League (2.80), Serie A (2.66), La Liga (2.57) and Ligue 1 (2.55).

What’s next?

Leipzig finish their league campaign at Werder Bremen next weekend, while Bayern host Eintracht Frankfurt – with revenge on their mind – before the DFB Cup Final between these two on May 25.

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Bundesliga: Bayern on the Brink of 7th Straight Title

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RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich’s visit to third-place RB Leipzig could have been a pivotal game in the Bundesliga title race. But with Borussia Dortmund’s inability to keep pace in the last few weeks, the pressure is off Bayern as they more or less have another championship all wrapped up.

If the leaders win at Leipzig — and the Bundesliga 2019 odds have them favoured to do so — they will officially clinch their seventh consecutive Bundesliga crown with one game to spare. They could also clinch if Dortmund lose to Fortuna Dusseldorf, which they’ve already done this season.

Leipzig have been in absolutely fabulous form, though, and will not want to surrender any momentum against Bayern ahead of their DFB Pokal final scheduled in a couple weeks’  time.

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Talking Points

Leipzig in fine form

RB Leipzig lost their opening match after the winter break, going down 1-0 at home to Borussia Dortmund. Since then, though, they’ve been simply unbeatable, winning 13 out of their last 17 games in all competitions. That includes the DFB Pokal, where they will face off against Bayern in the final.

As for their Bundesliga 2019 results, they have won 10 of their last 14, the lone team to remain undefeated during that span of time. And the 34 points they picked up were second only to their next opponents, Bayern, who had 35 during that same stretch.

The Leipzig defence has helped fuel their amazing unbeaten run. They’ve conceded a mere nine goals in those last 14 games, three goals fewer than Bayern.

However, three of those nine goals came in a shock 3-3 draw at Mainz last week, which snapped their six-match winning streak. Leipzig had gone 3-1 up inside 50 minutes but surprisingly gave up two late goals to drop the two points.

Perhaps a return home is what Leipzig need to bounce back. They’ve won their last three games at the Red Bull Arena, scoring nine goals and conceding just one.

Bayern almost there

It has been far from a vintage season for Bayern Munich. The German giants have been nowhere near as dominant as they have been in years’ past as manager Niko Kovac has had his problems in his first — and possibly only — year in charge. Former Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui has recently been linked with the Bayern job.

However, Bayern have still been good enough to outlast a young Dortmund side which finally ran out of steam in the last few weeks in one of the tighter title races in a while.

Bayern bounced back from their shock draw against relegated Nurnberg by comfortably beating bottom side Hannover at home, 3-1. It was Bayern’s 10th win in their last 12 league matches; they drew the other two games.

Nico Kovac know Bayern Munich can afford two draws from their remaining two Bundesliga games

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac call on his player during the match

Bayern have been a little less consistent away from home, though. Their only loss this year came away at Leverkusen. And while they have hammered sides like Borussia Monchengladbach and Fortuna Dusseldorf away from the Allianz, they have also suffered setbacks in the form of draws against unheralded sides in Freiburg and Nurnberg.

Although, a case could be made that those results were merely due to complacency. There’s unlikely to be such a lax mentality when Bayern visit Leipzig with the chance to wrap up another championship.

History

With RB Leipzig only being in existence for less than a decade, there is obviously not much history between them and Bayern. The two sides have met each other just six times in total, with Bayern winning five and Leipzig one.

However, Leipzig’s one win came in Bayern’s visit to the Red Bull Arena last season. The two teams’ only other Bundesliga meeting in Leipzig was a wild 5-4 shootout in 2017, which Bayern won. Leipzig also held Bayern to a draw at home in the 2017-18 DFB Pokal and lost on penalties.

Bayern just about edged Leipzig in their first meeting at the Allianz Arena this season as Franck Ribery scored the lone goal of the game.

Betting Tip

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RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich 1X2 RB Leipzig Win @ 4.50
May 05, 21:30(GMT+8)

It’s the end of the season, so why not go out on a big swing? As has been laid out above, Leipzig have simply been phenomenal over the past couple of months. Their defence — excluding last week’s hiccup — has been airtight and should give Bayern’s attack some problems.

If there’s a fixture where this good-but-not-great Bayern side can suffer defeat, it’s away from home against an in-form Leipzig side that are at the very least as good as the leaders.

us odds currently have a Leipzig win in the 1X2 market priced at 4.50, and unlike most of Bayern’s opponents, it has a legitimate shot of paying out when it’s all said and down.

Look for Leipzig to beat Bayern, who might have to wait another week to wrap up the title.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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Grujic eyes Hertha extension

Serbia midfielder Marko Grujic says he would prefer to stay with Hertha Berlin next season rather than return to parent club Liverpool.

The 22-year-old schemer has made just 14 appearances for the Reds to date and spent the second half of last season on loan at Cardiff City.

However, it is this term that he has really started to shine, having joined Die Alte Dame on a season-long loan which Grujic would clearly like to extend.

He told Bild: "I feel very comfortable in Berlin, Hertha gave me a great opportunity to play in the Bundesliga. This time at Hertha – with the exception of injuries – has been brilliant so far to show my qualities.

"But, ultimately, I cannot decide. But, if I could choose, I would stay with Hertha for another year, or maybe even two years, to make a very good name for myself by improving all my qualities.

"That's only possible if you play every game. My self-confidence has increased due to the match practice, while my defensive play has also improved a lot because of the games.

"For the development of my career at this time it is much more important to always be in the starting XI."

Hertha currently lie in 10th place in the Bundesliga and are back in action on Saturday when they visit RB Leipzig.

They are 7/2 to earn a draw at the Red Bull Arena, with the hosts 4/9 to win the game and 7/1 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline.

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Gomez maintains Stuttgart belief

Veteran VfB Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez has challenged his side to repeat what he felt was a decent performance in their 3-1 Bundesliga defeat to RB Leipzig.

Die Roten are currently down in 16th place in the Bundesliga standings, having earned just a single point from their last seven league games.

However, Gomez, who has scored five goals in 20 Bundesliga appearances so far this season, believes there were plenty of positives to take from their display on Saturday.

He told his club's official website: "This performance definitely gives us strength. We stood shoulder to shoulder with a very good opponent.

"We were aggressive at the back and created good opportunities up front. We need to keep playing like this in the coming weeks."

Meanwhile, head coach Markus Weinzierl also preferred to look on the bright side after another loss, adding: "We need to make sure we produce this type of performance for the whole 90 minutes and be more clinical in the coming weeks."

Stuttgart are back in league action on Friday evening, when they head to the Weser Stadium to take on Werder Bremen.

Die Roten claimed a 2-1 victory when the two sides met in Stuttgart in late September, with Gonzalo Castro netting the winner 15 minutes from time.

Stuttgart are 9/2 to secure a much-needed win on Friday evening, with the draw priced at 3/1, while the hosts are 8/1 to claim a 1-0 victory.

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Bundesliga: Frankfurt Stop Red Bull’s Scoring Rampage

RB Leipzig 0-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

The latest game week in the German top flight has been very interesting for the top five clubs. In a strange twist of fate, all of the Bundesliga 2019 results involving this season’s top five have lost or drawn. It is quite shocking to see both Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich drop points this deep into the season.

Moreover, the Bundesliga tie between RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt was an eyebrow-raiser. There were multiple times wherein the Red Bulls looked like they were about to score. The hosts tried to play energetically as they launched attack after attack.

However, it was Frankfurt that left the Red Bull Stadium with huge smiles on their faces after getting away with a single point. While the result doesn’t get them any closer to the Champions League spots, the fact that they stopped Leipzig is more than a good sign for Adi Hutter’s Die Adler.

Highlights of the game

The entire Red Bull Stadium was hopeful that the Leipzig XI can close the gap between them, Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach. The pre-game favourites would have set up a tight battle for second if they managed to get the three points here.

Ralf Rangnick’s boys tried to get the lead early in the game in order to set the tone. Stefan Ilsanker almost got the job done in the seventh minute when he got to Marcel Halstenberg’s cross. Unfortunately, his header ended just off-target.

Timo Werner has failed to hit a goal during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt

RB Leipzig star Timo Werner looks disappointed after failing to score a goal against Eintracht Frankfurt

Frankfurt knew that they would be in for a tough ninety minutes, but knowing the fact doesn’t make things easier. They had to fend off another brilliant attacking talent in Timo Werner. The Liverpool target wasn’t able to control his 16th-minute header, though.

From that point on, the Leipzig faithful began to realise that this wouldn’t be a routine win for them. RB Leipzig vs Eintracht Frankfurt odds were beginning to sway as the Red Bulls couldn’t find the back of the net. The traveling Frankfurt supporters were probably thrilled that they were holding their own.

However, all of their brilliant defending didn’t result in any goals. Luka Jovic, the breakout star who is currently Bundesliga’s top scorer, was held in check by the Leipzig defence. He wasn’t able to impact the game at all as he was tightly marked.

Of course, it didn’t mean that the Eagles were stagnant and happy to just defend. Filip Kostic tried to sneak in a go-ahead goal in the 25th minute when he fired a direct free-kick. The ball seemed destined to just get inside the right post, but Peter Gulasci managed to get a hold of the football.

The first half ended without much fanfare, and the second half was unfortunately much of the same thing. An array of Leipzig shirts tried their hand on beating Kevin Trapp without much success: Halstenberg had a crack on it, Werner wasted a 62nd-minute shot, Willi Orban and Marcel Seltzer also failed to make things happen from the corner.

The game reached the 80-minute mark, and it seems that the game is destined for a draw. Leipzig’s Yusuf Poulsen and Frankfurt’s MIjat Gacinovic tried to twist the script in their favour, but the game eventually ended in a bore draw.

It was a frustrating match for many Leipzig and us Bundesliga fans who backed the Red Bulls. Meanwhile, Frankfurt are up in the clouds as they managed to stop another top team after breaking even against Dortmund just last week.

Key statistics

There is surely much to be discussed in the Leipzig locker room. They scored a grand total of seven goals in the two matches they played prior to this. However, their wasteful efforts in front of goal (only one of their 14 shots was on target) ensured that they would finish the weekend with a bad taste in their mouths.

Meanwhile, Frankfurt will celebrate a moral victory. They managed to produce six shots on 46% possession, and two of those were on target. While they did have to commit ten fouls in the process, the four yellow cards Leipzig incurred is a testament to the efficiency of their 3-4-3.

This match was also the only game among the games played on Saturday to not score any goals.

What’s next?

Despite their goalless draw, RB Leipzig look hopeful to beat their opponents in upcoming Bundesliga games

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka battles for the ball against RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer

While Frankfurt are delighted that they stopped two of the Bundesliga’s best, they desperately need some wins. They can start off with challenging Europa League fixtures against Shakhtar Donetsk. In between those two games is another battle with a top-four opponent in Borussia Monchengladbach.

Meanwhile, Leipzig will be ironically happy that they don’t have to contend with European opponents and completely focus on the league. Their next three fixtures are winnable as they will be facing Stuttgart, Hoffenheim, and Nurnberg.

The question now is whether they can shake off the stress they experienced at the hands of the happy Eagles.

 

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Bundesliga: Champions League Football at Stake in This Six-Pointer

RB Leipzig vs Eintracht Frankfurt

The appeal of Champions League football is undeniable for a lot of top football clubs. Not only do they get to play against the best Europe has to offer, but the amount of exposure the prestigious tournament can provide means potential new fans for any side aiming to become the best.

With this in mind, many of the clubs in the Bundesliga can only dream of competing with the giants by making it to the Champions League spots in the table. All of the four spots are seemingly taken at this point in the season, but the six-pointer between Frankfurt and Leipzig will allow Wolfsburg, Leverkusen and Hoffenheim to aim for fourth.

These teams will root for Frankfurt, but the Red Bulls of Leipzig are tough opponents to take down.

Talking Points

Leipzig and the Sisyphean obstacle of domestic dominance

It’s no secret that Leipzig crave for legitimacy and acceptance in the world they move in. Given that the football-mad nation has a community-centric footballing culture, it’s understandable why Leipzig’s progressive (and possibly problematic) approach to running their football club is vilified.

 The only way they can get everyone else to recognise the work they are doing is either by winning the league or consistent qualification in the Champions League. Both Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have proven themselves as foils to their title hopes and Bundesliga 2019 odds, Champions League is the easier route to legitimacy.

Their first match of the year ended in disappointment for the Red Bulls, but their opponents were the league leaders. Their games since then have been one-sided affairs that saw them dominate their opponents. They are clearly more than capable of handling Frankfurt away from the Red Bull Arena.

As expected, there is a plethora of young talent in this football club. Tyler Adams is making a splash since making the jump from New York Red Bulls to Leipzig. Yusuf Poulsen and Timo Werner are still strong up front, while Willi Orban and Marcel Halstenberg are providing good cover from the back.

This match is Leipzig’s to lose, and I don’t think they’ll slip here without a sudden collapse in form.

Frankfurt hunger for Champions League

Can Luka Jovic lead Eintracht Frankfurt in disappointing Bundesliga 2019 Odds?

Luka Jovic in action for Wolfsburg during their last match vs Borussia Dortmund

Ask any us fan with a good knowledge of the Bundesliga about Eintracht Frankfurt, and they will tell you about how the club is on course to taste Champions League football for the first time in over a decade.

 Fans familiar with the team know that they have struggled to stay in the league, always spending spells in the 2.Bundesliga. They always manage to come back to the league with strong seasons, but they always fall flat on their faces as they struggle in relegation.

The Eagles almost dropped back to the second tier in 2016, but they managed to pull off a fantastic escape by winning the relegation playoff. They have since then flourished, steadily climbing up the table over the past three seasons with the consistency that many of the Eintracht faithful haven’t seen in a long time.

Sure, they can still lose horribly against the biggest teams in the league. However, their most recent draw with Borussia Dortmund is a testament to the growth the team is experiencing under Adolf Hutter this season.

Three men stand at the centre of Frankfurt’s achievements. Sebastien Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic are bringing in the goals for the team to place them as the fourth-best attacking outfit in the league. Filip Kostic and Danny da Costa are also contributing to the team’s strong run this season.

They should be able to put up an admirable resistance to Leipzig.

History

As Leipzig have only been in the Bundesliga for a little more than two years, there’s little to no history between the two clubs. However, Leipzig have performed well enough to command a decent head-to-head record: the Red Bulls won two of their five recent matches. Frankfurt won one, and the remaining two games were drawn.

Their recent form paints a different picture. Both teams are undefeated in their last three games in all competitions, but Frankfurt drew two of those games.

Betting Tip

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RB Leipzig vs Eintracht Frankfurt RB Leipzig Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 2.07
February 9 22:30 (GMT+8)

I personally believe that the four teams at the top of the Bundesliga table are playing a different game in comparison to the rest of the playing field. While the league is still as competitive as ever, there’s no question that the four teams at the top are playing especially attractive football.

RB Leipzig have quality players and a fantastic system that ensures they get the goals they need. While Frankfurt have some outstanding attacking talent, it’s undeniable that the Red Bulls simply have the better squad in general. They should be able to hold onto the last Champions League spot without any problem.

The Eagles will be making a lot of Bundesliga 2019 news stories if they manage to pull off an upset, though.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Bundesliga: Axel Witsel Wows to Protect Dortmund’s Lead!

RB Leipzig 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

Axel Witsel scored only his second goal of the season, but it was enough for Borussia Dortmund to earn a hard-fought win over a spirited RB Leipzig side and protect their six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table.

After Bayern Munich made a winning start to their 2019 season—beating Hoffenheim earlier in the gameweek by a 1-3 scoreline—the pressure turned to BVB. The league leaders saw their lead cut down to three points, leaving them with no other option but to aim for the victory and avoid what would have been a huge collapse.

It wasn’t easy for Lucien Favre’s men though, especially with Leipzig having more attempts on goal. Fortunately, they responded well to the challenge and held their ground to survive and frustrate the luckless Red Bulls.

Highlights of the game

BVB were already expected to come out on top in this encounter. The Bundesliga 2019 odds at us had them winning comfortably, thanks in large part to their 4-1 victory against Leipzig at the Signal Iduna Park earlier in the season.

However, BVB were dealt a massive blow just hours before the game. The team confirmed that in-form skipper Marco Reus is out of the match due to a ligament injury he suffered during training.

That gave Dortmund a weak link, and Leipzig wasted no time in taking advantage of that right from the opening period.

In fact, in the opening 10 minutes, Leipzig took multiple corners and a free kick in a dangerous position. In the ninth minute of the match, Dortmund keeper Roman Burki was even forced to a save after Kevin Kampl fired from distance.

BVB goalkeeper Roman Burki blocks RB Leipzig from hitting goal during their recent Bundesliga match

Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki prevents RB Leipzig from hitting a goal during their latest Bundesliga battle

Dortmund, nonetheless, regrouped quickly, found their rhythm and started dominating possession. And just a few moments later, they were able to break the deadlock behind Witsel.

Witsel fired at the far post in the 19th minute after teammate Lukasz Piszczek headed the ball to his direction. Piszczek deflected the ball off a corner and Witsel, who was waiting six yards away from the goal, controlled it beautifully and hammered it to the crossbar down.

Leipzig were unfortunate not to score, with Timo Werner consistently threatening. Their lack of luck was more evident in the second half when they controlled proceedings but still ended up goalless.

Dortmund had Burki to thank for a string of saves, particularly in the payoff period. The Swiss keeper denied Marcel Sabitzer twice in the second half, including an epic 75th-minute save when the Austrian was alone in front of the goal.

Two minutes later, Werner had a glorious chance to equalise, but to no avail. With the 22-year-old German set on goal on the right wing, Burki stayed focused and made a brilliant save at his near post.

BVB super-sub and top-scorer Paco Alcacer came onto the field with 21 minutes left to play, and he came close to finding the back of the net in the final stages. However, his effort from a Christian Pulisic through ball hit the crossbar.

Key statistics

Truth be told, the fight could have gone both ways. The two had nearly identical post-game statistics, and Leipzig would feel more frustrated given that they wasted plenty of opportunities to create a huge advantage.

Dortmund had 53 percent possession but ended up with only eight attempts on goal, four of which are on target. On the other hand, Leipzig had 12 shot attempts, including five on-target efforts.

In the end, Witsel’s second goal of the campaign made the difference. Interestingly, his first goal this 2018-19 season also came against Leipzig in their August meeting.

Here are other key numbers in the game:

  • It was Leipzig’s first home defeat of the Bundesliga season. The loss also snapped a four-game winning streak at home. They now have a record of seven wins, two draws and one defeat at Red Bull Arena.
  • This was the first game that Reus missed this 2018-19 season. According to the latest Bundesliga 2019 news though, his injury is not serious.
  • Leipzig previously had the league’s best defence with 17 goals conceded. Allowing one against Dortmund put them at 18, level with BVB and Borussia Monchengladbach.

What’s next?

Timo Werner hopes to lead RB Leipzig to victory when they battle against Fortuna Dusseldorf in Bundesliga

Timo Werner looks distraught after missing a chance during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund

The Bundesliga is back to regular programming, and with no other domestic and European competitions scheduled, both Dortmund and Leipzig have only one game each this week.

BVB next face Hannover 96, one of only three teams to play out a draw with them. They met last September, during which they played out a goalless draw.

Meanwhile, Leipzig play Fortuna Dusseldorf. The Red Bulls thrashed the newly-promoted club 1-3 in their first game this year.

 

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Bundesliga Highlights: Bayern Win in Dramatic Late Fashion

Bayern Munich 1-0 RB Leipzig

This narrow game between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig has got to have one of the most intense finishes I have ever seen in a Bundesliga game.

The match had a good number of scoring chances from both sides, but none of those was just going into the net. And then the drama unfolded in the end game. Goals and cards were flying through the air as Die Roten emerged victorious in this tough encounter.

Highlights of the game

Borussia Dortmund’s hopes for an invincible season have gone up in flames when Fortuna Dusseldorf pulled off what is probably the biggest upset of the season to defeat the league leaders. This was the perfect chance for both contenders to catch up to the top of the table, making this match a must-win for both sides.

 The Allianz Arena was anticipating with bated breath by the time the game was started. Both sides knew that their opponents will be tough customers to play against, so scoring the first goal was of the utmost importance for Niko Kovac and Ralf Rangnick.

The first half was abound with action as both the Bavarians and the Red Bulls traded blows in the game’s early minutes to establish dominance. Serge Gnabry was especially active for Bayern. The former Arsenal man is having a great time in Munich with his four goals, and he probably wanted to establish himself in Kovac’s XI with this game.

There wasn’t any moment worthy of being included in the weekly Bundesliga 2018 highlights until the 25th minute. Robert Lewandowski looked to add to his ten-goal tally in the lead by firing a low-driven bullet that got past Peter Gulacsi. Unfortunately for him, his goal was denied by the left post.

The misfortune seemingly began to pile up on the defending Bundesliga champions when Serge Gnabry went down two minutes later. The injury was apparently too much as Franck Ribery was called to substitute for him.

The game raged on as both teams tried to end the first half with a high. Dayot Upamamencano almost scored a magnificent header from the six-yard box for Leipzig on 36 minutes, but his header was just a tad bit too high as it hit the crossbar. Die Rollen Bullen tried to finish the effort, but the ball was cleared away.

Neither team was able to beat the backline as the first half ended in a disappointing draw. The Stern des Sudens faithful — who have experienced disappointing collapses this season — probably were steeling themselves for another one that has become somewhat of a signature in Kovac’s reign.

Both teams made the necessary adjustments, but neither team managed to make the most of their opportunities. Thomas Muller, Niklas Sule and Joshua Kimmich had their chances to put Bayern ahead, but Lady Luck seemed against them on the day.

It was starting to look like a goalless draw, and some of the Bayern fans were still preparing themselves for the worst. What the fans didn’t know was that everything was a set-up for a dramatic finish.

It was Ribery, the man who wasn’t even supposed to play, who got the goal. Renato Sanches fired a seemingly impossible shot that forced a great save from Gulacsi. However, a goalmouth scuffle saw the ball drift towards Ribery at the edge of the penalty box. He kicked a powerful ball towards the goal that broke past the Hungarian stopper.

However, the action didn’t stop there. The Allianz Stadium got up to their feet as two red cards were brandished in rapid succession. Both Stefan Ilsanker and Sanches were sent off early for rough defending. Kovac would have wanted the Portuguese midfielder to discipline himself, but he is probably happy to just get the three points.

Key statistics

The Bundesliga 2018 odds saw this game as a tight contest that either side would have won at the death, and that’s exactly what happened for Bayern. They had a bit more time with the ball at 60%, but their shot attempts weren’t that far off from Leipzig. However, their dominance was on display as they had 22 free kicks.

Yussuf Poulsen and Timo Werner are the best-attacking options for Leipzig and were the driving force behind their win against Mainz. However, but Sule and Mats Hummels were able to stop the terrifying two-some as they only had one shot attempt each.

What’s next?

Bayern are still part of the top of the Bundesliga table after defeating RB Leipzig

Bayern Munich players celebrating Franck Ribery’s goal during their Bundesliga clash against Leipzig

The Bundesliga 2018 odds at the best bookies us have definitely improved for Bayern, but they aren’t exactly back on top. They are still six points behind Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach have the edge on goal difference. They must end 2018 on a high against Eintracht Frankfurt if they want to put pressure on the two clubs above them.

Meanwhile, Leipzig have a bit of catching up to do. They will finish the year hosting Werder Bremen, but their first league game of 2019 will be the reverse fixture against Dortmund. They must stand their ground if they want to keep themselves on the chase.

 

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Hasenhuttl eyes quickfire rise

New Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says his primary target is to try and help move the Saints out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The 51-year-old former Austria international has signed a two-and-half-year deal with the top-flight strugglers, who have won just one of the 15 Premier League games they have played so far this season.

And Hasenhuttl, who made his name with RB Leipzig, is relishing the challenge ahead of both himself and his players.

He told reporters: "The first target is to get out of relegation zone. The near future has to be to move as quickly as we can out of the zone.

"I'm not frightened about it, but the problem is we have a lot of games and my football is all about training sessions, working on habits. If you have the chance to do so it's ok, but if you don't it's not so easy.

"It's a bit back to the roots for me. Last year I had a fantastic Champions League team, we were on a very high technical level.

"The step is not the easiest one, but I never want it easy in my life. I always challenge myself and I'm looking forward, not afraid of anything."

Having taken on a watching brief as Southampton were beaten 3-1 by Spurs at Wembley on Wednesday evening, Hasenhuttl will take charge of his first game on Saturday when the Saints head to South Wales to take on Cardiff City.

The visitors can be backed at 11/5 to secure a draw at the Cardiff City Stadium, with a 1-1 final scoreline priced at 11/2, while Southampton are 11/8 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Saints turn to Hasenhuttl

Relegation-threatened Southampton have appointed the former RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The 51-year-old Austrian replaces Mark Hughes, who was sacked on Monday after Saints had won just one of their first 14 Premier League matches of the campaign.

Hasnehuttl will formally take charge on Thursday after watching the game against Tottenham at Wembley, which Southampton are 17/2 to win.

Saints are 3/1 to be relegated this season and 9/1 to draw 1-1 with Spurs.

Hasenhuttl coached Ingolstadt until 2016 when he was appointed Leipzig boss. He led Leipzig to second spot in the Bundesliga in 2016/17 and to the Europa League quarter-finals last term.

However, Leipzig terminated Hasenhuttl's deal a year early in May after they finished sixth in the Bundesliga.

Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger said: "The urgency to find a path back to our potential and to the results that we expect cannot be underestimated. For that reason, we are extremely pleased that Ralph Hasenhuttl has agreed to become our new manager and do all he can to help guide us back on that path.

"This manager change offers us a fresh start and, very quickly, Ralph emerged as our ideal candidate.

"As a coach, he embodies the passion, structure, communication skill-set, work ethic and appetite for growth that we strive for. The quick, smooth and seamless negotiation process underlines the character of the person that he is."