Preview: Werder Bremen vs. RB Leipzig - prediction, team

sportsmole.co.uk, 8 April 2021, 13:52

Werder Bremen take on RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with both sides looking to bounce back from defeats last weekend.

The two teams will meet later in April in the DFB-Pokal semi-final after Bremen overcame Jahn Regensburg in the quarter-final of the competition in midweek.

Match preview

© Reuters

Indeed, Florian Kohfeldt 's side defeated Jahn - who compete in the tier below the Bundesliga - with a minimum of fuss after Yuya Osaka broke the deadlock seven minutes after the half-time interval.

Only Bayern Munich have won Germany's domestic cup more times than Bremen's tally of six in their history, so Kohfeldt may look to use Saturday's league game against Leipzig as a tactical warm-up for the more important encounter later in the month.

That said, Bremen are not entirely safe from relegation just yet, having lost three Bundesliga games in a row. Kohfeldt's side struggled to create anything of note away to Stuttgart last weekend, although it should be said that the hosts did not look like scoring either.

Ultimately, Ludwig Augustinsson 's 81st-minute own goal proved to be the difference between the sides in an otherwise dour affair, with Bremen still retaining a seven-point gap above the relegation zone.

Realistically, a couple of wins should prove more than enough to be assured of another season in Germany's top flight, but they may find one hard to come by against the league's joint-strongest defence on Saturday.

© Reuters

Only Wolfsburg can match Leipzig's impressive tally of 22 goals conceded in 27 league matches, but it is arguably the other end of the pitch which looks to have cost them a chance of overthrowing Bayern as Bundesliga champions.

Julian Nagelsmann 's side matched the Bavarians in almost every sense across the 90 minutes last weekend, but even without the injured Robert Lewandowski, Hansi Flick 's side still had a little more cutting edge to their game.

Thomas Muller 's clever run, touch, turn and pass opened up space for Leon Goretzka to make one of his trademark third-man runs before cleanly smashing the ball past a helpless Peter Gulacsi, with the Hungary goalkeeper excellently denying Leroy Sane 's effort from distance to prevent his side from having to chase a two-goal deficit after half-time.

Die Roten Bullen frantically pressed for an equaliser after the break and, in truth, merited one on the balance of play, with Marcel Sabitzer agonisingly going close on two occasions, but Bayern ultimately held on for a crucial victory which leaves Leipzig seven points behind the European champions.

Nagelsmann will now likely be targeting second place and a maiden DFB-Pokal title for the club, with a win against Bremen on Saturday potentially a big step towards fulfilling both of those aims.

Werder Bremen Bundesliga form:

W

D

W

L

L

L

Werder Bremen form (all competitions):

D

W

L

L

L

W

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form:

W

W

W

D

W

L

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):

W

W

L

D

W

L

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Team News

© Reuters

Bremen will be without Maximilian Eggestein after the midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the campaign in the defeat to Stuttgart last time out, with Jean-Manuel Mbom and Leonardo Bittencourt providing two different options to replace him depending on how Kohfeldt chooses to rejig his midfield.

Having scored the decisive own goal against Stuttgart, Augustinsson's week went from bad to worse after sustaining a serious groin injury against Jahn, with the left-back facing a race against time to feature again this season. Felix Agu will deputise in the meantime.

Niclas Fullkrug has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to a broken toe, with Omer Toprak, Milos Veljkovic, Nick Woltemade, Ilia Gruev and Luca Plogmann all unlikely to be fit to feature against Leipzig.

The visitors, meanwhile, will travel without defensive duo Dayot Upamecano and Nordi Mukiele after the Frenchmen both picked up their fifth cautions of the season in the defeat to Bayern last weekend.

Ibrahima Konate, who has been linked with a transfer move to Liverpool in the summer, will likely replace Upamecano, with Tyler Adams shifting laterally into a right wing-back role.

Angelino, Yussuf Poulsen, Dominik Szoboszlai and Konrad Laimer are all injury doubts for Nagelsmann's side, but the 33-year-old will hope to have the quartet fit and firing again at differing points throughout April.

Kevin Kampl looks to be available once again having missed the defeat to Bayern through injury, but is unlikely to be risked from the start.

Werder Bremen possible starting lineup:

Pavlenka; Friedl, Gross, Moisander; Gebre Selassie, Mbom, Mohwald, Agu; Schmid, Rashica; Sargent

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:

Gulacsi; Orban, Konate, Klostermann; Adams, Sabitzer, Haidara, Nkunku; Olmo, Forsberg; Sorloth

We say: Werder Bremen 0-1 RB Leipzig

Neither teams are particularly free-scoring at present while offering strong defensive solidity, so we can envisage a narrow victory for Leipzig.

Nagelsmann's side should have a little too much energy and class for their opponents, who will be hoping at the very least to learn something from the game ahead of their upcoming DFB-Pokal semi-final clash at the end of the month.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.

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