By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Two sides who have aspirations of mounting a meaningful title charge will face off on Saturday when RB Leipzig play host to Union Berlin.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
After beginning 2023 with a hard-earned draw against Bayern Munich, Leipzig enjoyed a run of three consecutive victories in all competitions, but their winning run was brought to an end last Saturday.
Leipzig were held to a goalless draw in their away meeting with FC Köln, which would have frustrated Marco Rose and his players. Die Roten Bullen currently occupy fourth position, and with four points separating them from league leaders Bayern Munich, Leipzig will certainly feel as though they are involved in a title race.
Their title credentials will be tested on Saturday as they face off against an in-form Union Berlin side. Leipzig’s are yet to lose a home league game this season, and they currently share the best home record in the Bundesliga with Saturday’s opponent after collecting 23 points from their nine matches at the Red Bull Arena.
Willi Orban could miss out after the defender made a stem cell donation during the week. While there is doubt over Orban’s availability, Leipzig know they will definitely be without the services of Peter Gulacsi, Abdou Diallo, Dani Olmo and Christopher Nkunku due to injury issues.
Since the winter break, Union have only been dealing in victories, winning all five games since the resumption of the Bundesliga.
In their most recent outing, Die Eisernen claimed a narrow away victory over Mainz. Kevin Behrens gave Union a half time lead, and although former Union striker Marcus Ingvartsen levelled from the penalty spot in the 78th minute, Urs Fischer’s side still managed to claim all three points thanks to Jordan’s 84th-minute winner.
With Union yet to drop points in 2023, they are currently sitting in second place – one point adrift of top spot.
Although they preparing to face a Leipzig side who are the third highest scorers in the Bundesliga, Union boasts the second-best defensive record in the top flight, and they will believe that they have the capabilities to nullify their opponents on Saturday.
András Schäfer has missed the last two games with a foot injury, and he remains a doubt for Saturday’s away meeting with Leipzig.