RB Leipzig has stumbled out of the gate in the Bundesliga and hope to course correct against Eintracht Frankfurt. After two games, Leipzig has just one point and is perilously close to the relegation zone. Just two season ago, the East German powerhouse surged in the league and challenged the establishment with an exciting brand of football. Now, they are wallowing in their inability to deal with the congested fixture schedule that comes with playing in European competition and an even more frustrating transfer window that saw players leave but few join the squad.
Leipzig Slow to Start and Salzburg Look to Europa League Clash – GLOBAL PREVIEW
All of this came to the forefront this past weekend when Fortuna Dusseldorf took a lead on Leipzig at Red Bull Arena. Last season Dusseldorf wasn’t even in the Bundesliga, finishing at the top of 2. Bundesliga. In week one, they lost to perennial mid-table team Augsburg FC 2-1. It appeared to be the exact kind of team Leipzig needed to regain their confidence. Instead they gave up a goal early in the second half and had to fight their way back into a draw.
“We had hoped for more today,” said manager Ralf Rangnick. “I can’t criticize the attitude and morale of my team in the slightest, but the whole team must defend better. There are still negatives. While some players were very good, others are still not at the level they once were at.”
SALZBURG LOOK TO SHOW THEY ARE THE CLASS OF RED BULL SOCCER IN EUROPA LEAGUE
Red Bull Salzburg failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League following a loss on away goals to Red Star Belgrade but find themselves back in the competition that they surprised many pundits in last season, the Europa League. The only wrinkle is that they pulled an interesting first match-up against RB Leipzig. The two teams are allowed to play each other after an investigation by UEFA deemed Salzburg sufficiently independent of Red Bull corporation. Still, this meeting between the two sides seems a bit odd considering player movement between the two sides seems to affect Leipzig more positive than Salzburg.
Still, manager Marco Rose will have his undefeated Austrian Bundesliga team ready for one of their toughest group stage challenges.
“We all know about the history with Leipzig,” said Rose. “We are two separate clubs. We are going our own way and Leipzig going their way. There are a few similarities though, especially when it comes to our playing style. For us it is great, and important for us too, to be able to test ourselves against opponents at this level.”
Salzburg will also face Celtic FC and Rosenborg BK in Group B of the European competition.
SALZBURG STILL DOMINANT IN THE LEAGUE
Away from Europe, Red Bull Salzburg are dominating the Austrian Bundesliga, following a 3-1 win over Flyeralarm Admira. Goals from Minamino, Haidara and Mwepu sealed the deal. It was another dominating performance. Salzburg continues to show that they are a step ahead of every other team in Austria. After six fixtures they are a perfect 6-0-0 with a four point lead on the second place team St Pölten. The team is currently on an international break. They return to action next Saturday against Pölten. The early clash could see Salzburg’s league jump to seven points with a win.