[ClevPicks Prediction]: Union Berlin vs. RB Leipzig: A Possible Draw?
When Union Berlin plays host to RB Leipzig, can Jordan Siebatcheu (left) surpass Timo Werner (right)?
At Union Berlin on Saturday, RB Leipzig will rely on Timo Werner to lead them to their first victory of the year (kick-off: 6.30pm CEST).
In August 2019, Werner and Leipzig gave Union a rough start to life in the Bundesliga. The 4-0 defeat suffered by Die Eisernen in front of their own supporters has turned out to be the exception rather than the rule. Following up their 11th-place performance in 2019/20 by qualifying for Europe in each of the previous two seasons, Urs Fischer's steely group have established themselves as a top-flight force to be reckoned with.
More of the same can be anticipated in the upcoming year, based on how they started the new campaign. After the first two rounds of games, Union is one of six unbeaten teams thanks to their 3-1 victory over Hertha, a city rival, and their goalless draw with Mainz last weekend. Right back and captain Christopher Trimmel are expected to return, and summer acquisition Jordan Siebatcheu is looking to add to his two goals in three competitive games for the capital club.
Werner, who scored the first goal against Cologne on Matchday 2 to commemorate his return to the Red Bull Arena, has 96 goals in 106 outings for Leipzig. The goal from the Germany international came off an assist from Christopher Nkunku, but the game changed after Dominik Szoboszlai was sent off and concluded 2-2. Leipzig is now without a victory in any tournament so far this season after losing to Bayern Munich in the DFL Supercup and drawing with VfB Stuttgart on the season's first day.
Recently, Domenico Tedesco's team selection has had an experimental aspect to it, with youthful Hugo Novoa playing back-to-back games at right wing-back and Benjamin Henrichs moving into a central position in Konrad Laimer's absence. Henrichs and Kevin Kampl are anticipated to take Szoboszlai's position, and Josko Gvardiol, who has recovered from injury, is anticipated to start in place of Marcel Halstenberg. Due to the absence of Peter Gulacsi, Janis Blaswich, a 31-year-old goalkeeper, will make his Bundesliga debut.
In three competitive games for Union, Siebatcheu has scored twice. His predecessor, Taiwo Awoniyi, needed seven games to get his account with the club started.
Union has had its best-ever start to a Bundesliga campaign (four points) and has gone unbeaten in nine games in the top division (W7, D2).
After losing their first three encounters with Leipzig, Die Eisernen have won their following three matches 2-1.
In the first of those six games, Nkunku scored with his very first touch while playing in the Bundesliga. His total scoring in 96 Bundesliga games is 33 goals and 37 assists.
Werner has three goals versus Union in two games.
Henrichs will play in the Bundesliga for the 100th time.
Union: Jaeckel, Knoche, Leite - Trimmel (c), Khedira, Haberer, Gießelmann – Haraguchi - Becker, Siebatcheu
Out: Baumgartl (match fitness), Schneider (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Leipzig: Blaswich - Simakan, Orban (c), Gvardiol - Novoa, Kampl, Henrichs, Raum - Olmo - Nkunku, Werner
Out: Gulacsi (adductor), Klostermann (ankle), Poulsen (thigh), Szoboszlai (suspended)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Although Leipzig clearly has superior individual talent, it is difficult to separate these two teams. However, Leipzig could suffer from Union Berlin's counterattacking strategy.
Therefore, it wouldn't be unexpected if Leipzig drew its third straight game, with both teams likely satisfied with that possible result.
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