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Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Union Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Bundesliga clash between RB Leipzig and Union Berlin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

RB Leipzig host Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on Wednesday, with the visitors guaranteed to move into the top four of the table at the halfway stage of the season if they can beat Julian Nagelsmann's side.

Leipzig, meanwhile, must win themselves in order to avoid losing any more ground on league leaders Bayern Munich.


Match preview

RB Leipzig's Nordi Mukiele celebrates scoring their first goal with Emil Forsberg on January 16, 2021© Reuters

After losing 3-1 at home to Borussia Dortmund in a humbling defeat, Leipzig travelled to Wolfsburg on Saturday knowing that they were likely to require bouncing back with a victory in order to keep the pressure on Bayern.

However, the Wolves are yet to be defeated at home in the league this season, so winning was always going to be a tall order. Nordi Mukiele smashed Leipzig into the lead in the opening minutes, but Renato Steffen and Wout Weghorst responded to give Oliver Glasner's side the lead at the break.

At that point Nagelsmann would surely have taken a draw, which Willi Orban's goal duly delivered for his side as the game finished 2-2. However, given that Wolfsburg's only two shots on target across the 90 minutes were their two goals, there would have been a tinge of disappointment that Leipzig could not find the breakthrough despite dominating the second half.

Defeating a Union Berlin side who have not lost any of their last six matches, with tough fixtures against Bayern, Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen included in those, is unlikely to prove any easier on Wednesday.

Union Berlin's Robert Andrich celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, in a world before social distancing, you would have had to pinch Urs Fischer in order for him to believe his side would have a chance of occupying a Champions League qualification position at the halfway stage of only their second ever Bundesliga season.

Having taken 12 points from their last six unbeaten games, though, that is exactly the position Union Berlin find themselves in after Friday night's narrow 1-0 victory over Leverkusen.

As expected, the visitors dominated possession, but Union Berlin were typically tough to break down while still offering plenty of threat in transition with the pace of Sheraldo Becker and Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi.

However, it was Cedric Teuchert who won the game for his side with his third league goal from the bench this season, showcasing Fischer's surprising strength in depth at his disposal. With Max Kruse hopefully set to return from injury in the coming weeks, the sky is potentially the limit for his side.

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form: WWDWLD
RB Leipzig form (all competitions): WDWWLD

Union Berlin Bundesliga form: DDWWDW
Union Berlin form (all competitions): DWLWDW


Team News

RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Leipzig appear to be through the worst of their injury problems, but new signing Dominik Szoboszlai will have to wait to make his debut until next month due to a groin injury.

Ibrahima Konate, Benjamin Henrichs and Konrad Laimer are all ruled out for the visit of Union Berlin.

Union Berlin, meanwhile, will be without top goalscorer Kruse until early February while their talisman recovers from a muscle injury.

Christian Gentner is a doubt for the trip to Leipzig, with Anthony Ujah and Joel Pohjanpalo definitely ruled out.

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulasci; Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Mukiele, Kampl, Sabitzer, Angelino; Olmo, Forsberg; Poulsen

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Luthe; Friedrich, Knoche, Hubner; Trimmel, Lenz, Prommel, Andrich, Ingvartsen; Becker, Awoniyi


SM words green background

We say: RB Leipzig 1-1 Union Berlin

Union Berlin are the type of side which Leipzig regularly find difficult to overcome, with Fischer's side likely to sit deep and hit their opponents on the break.

It would not be a surprise to the visitors pick up a creditable draw, then, with Becker and Awoniyi likely to pose Leipzig's centre-backs real issues.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data


ID:431095:cQx:QQ:

How you voted: RB Leipzig vs Union Berlin

RB Leipzig
58.4%
Draw
28.7%
Union Berlin
12.9%
101
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RB Leipzig's Willi Orban celebrates scoring their second goal against Wolfsburg on January 16, 2021
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern22154362313149
2RB Leipzig22145340182247
3Wolfsburg22119235191642
4Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt22119245301542
5Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen22107540241637
6Borussia DortmundDortmund22113845311436
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin2289535251033
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach228953833533
9Freiburg228773534131
10Stuttgart227873935429
11Hoffenheim2275103639-326
12Werder Bremen215882431-723
13Augsburg2265112235-1323
14FC Koln2256112036-1621
15Hertha Berlin2246122640-1418
16Arminia Bielefeld2153131838-2018
17Mainz 052245132343-2017
18Schalke 04Schalke2216151556-419

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