Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. RB Leipzig
Borussia Dortmund will be aiming to secure their 10th successive victory in all competitions and move to the top of the Bundesliga table when they host RB Leipzig on Friday evening.
Leipzig, meanwhile, could move one point behind their opponents and Bayern Munich at the summit should they be able to win at Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund continued their perfect form since returning from the World Cup with a 1-0 win away to struggling Hoffenheim last weekend, with Julian Brandt’s 43rd-minute strike enough to keep them level on points with Bayern at the top of the table.
BVB dominated the meeting at Rhein-Neckar Arena, forcing opposition goalkeeper Oliver Baumann into 10 saves across the course of the 90 minutes, although the hosts had moments themselves in an entertaining encounter.
Edin Terzic’s side are heading into their most important week of the season so far, with Friday’s home match against Leipzig providing an opportunity to potentially knock one title contender out of the mix, as victory would move them seven points clear of their former manager Marco Rose’s side.
Meanwhile, Dortmund travel to London to face Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, as they attempt to hold onto their 1-0 lead and book their place in the last eight of Europe’s elite competition.
Having won each of their last nine matches, Terzic and his players could hardly head into two incredibly important matches with more confidence of navigating their way through them with positive results, as they look to prove this season will not be another false dawn for the Yellow Wall.
Leipzig, meanwhile, have displayed great spirit to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at home to Union Berlin last month, winning two tricky fixtures against Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt to keep themselves in the Bundesliga’s title frame.
Goals from Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg provided Die Roten Bullen with a healthy 2-0 lead at half time against Frankfurt, who rallied after the break to pull one back through Djibril Sow’s effort moments after the hour mark.
Victory moved Leipzig back into the Champions League qualification places, having come from behind to secure a respectable 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
While progressing against the English champions at the Etihad Stadium later this month will undoubtedly be a difficult task, it would be foolish to write them off given that the aforementioned defeat to Union Berlin remains Leipzig’s only loss in their last 22 matches.
Likewise, there is every chance that they can put Dortmund’s recent winning streak to an end on Friday evening, especially with Rose set to be more determined than ever to secure a positive result against his most recent club.
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
RB Leipzig Bundesliga form:
RB Leipzig form (all competitions):
We say: Borussia Dortmund 1-1 RB Leipzig
Friday’s trip to Dortmund represents more of a must-not-lose fixture than a must-win one for Leipzig, who can not afford to slip seven points behind their title rivals at this latter stage of the season.
With Nkunku likely to return to their starting XI, there is every chance that Rose can inflict revenge on his former club, but given the amount at stake, we can envisage a relatively cagey encounter and a share of the spoils as the most likely outcome.