The pick of Saturday’s European fixture list comes from Germany’s top flight where RB Leipzig visit Signal Iduna Park to face Borussia Dortmund.
Incredibly, though, it’s the newly promoted visitors who are currently fighting for the title while the hosts are left to concentrate on Champions League qualification. It should be a fascinating contest between two strong sides who are equally desperate for the win.
Can Aubameyang Fire BVB Into Top 3?
It’s been a strange season for Dortmund, who just can’t seem to get their rhythm going, but Thomas Tuchel’s men are still in the hunt for Champions League football with a top three finish. Knowing that a win would see them leapfrog Frankfurt, at least temporarily, should be all the incentive they need in front of their home supporters.
The hosts have stuttered over the past two months, drawing four of their last five league games in total. However, an unbeaten home record of five wins and three draws will give them confidence – and if that doesn’t, the return of star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Signal Iduna Park certainly will.
Bundesliga’s leading scorer returned from the AFCON ahead of the trip to Mainz, and will now be aiming to get back among the goals agains Leipzig as he looks to fire BVB to a strong finish. With the supporting cast of Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, and co. by his side, a big performance here would go a long way to securing their seasonal objective.
Tuchel’s men will need to be at their best to grab the points here, but their defence has only shipped five in 13 home games too. If they play to their potential, it could be the turning point of their season.
Leipzig Still Fighting For Shock Title
Whilst Dortmund have slightly underachieved thus far, Leipzig have continued their incredible journey with a phenomenal start to life in Germany’s top flight. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men are currently the biggest threat to Bayern Munich and enter the weekend just three points behind the leaders. If they can seal a win here, their unlikely title bid could well be back on the table.
Leipzig will be under no illusions regarding the enormity of this task, not least because they suffered a 3-0 demolition at the Allianz Arena last month. However, Dortmund don’t quite have the quality of Bayern, and the visitors already have fond memories of facing BVB thanks to their 1-0 reverse win back in September – their first ever home match as a Bundesliga outfit.
Like Dortmund, Leipzig possess a formidable talismanic striker in the form of Timo Werner. The 20-year-old has been sensational since making the switch from Stuttgart, scoring 11 league goals in 18 appearances. With the right service, he will cause problems for the hosts.
It’s set to be a fascinating battle in what looks set to be the new rivalry to become Germany’s second best club. Expect intensity from the start.
Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig Betting
With home advantage on their side, Dortmund are the ¾ favourites with Coral while Leipzig can be backed at 10/3 for a famous victory. Alternatively, the draw is available at 11/4.
For all their quality, it’s hard to overlook the fact that Leipzig have lost two away games on the bounce without scoring a single goal. Given that BVB have shipped just five on home soil, it could be a tough evening for the visitors in front of goal.
Dortmund did beat Bayern 1-0 on home soil in November too. A similar scoreline might not be a bad shout for this one too.
Even though he looks set to leave this summer, there is no question that Aubameyang remains the home side’s greatest threat, and he’ll be eager to add his 17th league goal of 2016-17 in this massive fixture.
Given that goals could well be at a premium, we think it’s worth taking the extra risk of backing the first scorer market rather than the anytime one.