RB Leipzig – Title contenders
RB Leipzig arrived on the Bundesliga scene with one guarantee, controversy. Amid the financial utopia that German football is perceived, a club bankrolled by a global company would never be welcomed into the peak of the domestic game where traditionalism and tribalism is fierce.
However, what even the most ardent Bundesliga supporter was prepared to admit, RB Leipzig were about to slot into top division life seamlessly. With a clear structure embedded at the club, rather than frivolous spending, the transition from second to first class football was to come with ease.
With the appointment of Ralph Hassenhuttl in the summer, who had previously managed to steer Ingolstadt away from relegation in their maiden Bundesliga season with a respectable 11th placed finish, RB Leipzig had found themselves a manager who also wanted to prove his worth in the top division.
Hassenhuttl’s tactical knowledge has allowed him to take advantage of the opposition and pick his killer moments – such as Oliver Burke’s limited, yet effective, usage this season, a player Hassenhuttl himself has described as possessing “an empty hard drive” when referring to his tactical awareness.
Their swashbuckling style has proved problematic for even the best sides in the league. With Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen already among the list of clubs to fall to RB Leipzig, when the Bundesliga new boys meet with Bayern Munich in December the match has potential for a classic.
With every passing week the east German side are proving more doubters wrong. Whilst three months ago nobody connected with the club would have envisioned them sitting top of the table by three points, the question for Leipzig is no longer whether they’re able to cope, it’s can they sustain it?
The signs for Leipzig are positive, though, with Bayern Munich having to focus on European matters and the DFB Pokal on top of the league, whereas Die Bullen’s early exit in the cup means their sole focus can go on the league.
The signs for Bayern aren’t looking great with the fact Carlo Ancelotti’s team is alternating every week as he desperately searches for a winning formula. Moreover, the Bavarians haven’t had a challenger past January for the last three seasons – how will they be willing to cope with the new-found pressure?
Another positive for Leipzig is their finances, despite spending close to €50 million in the summer, they’ve brought in a stable of youngsters for the club to build its foundations on coupled with experienced heads that were destined to succeed in the league.
However, when these finances carry over into January, Leipzig have the possibility to buck a German trend. Usually, due to only a handful of clubs possessing the financial power to compete with other clubs across Europe, most transfer business is concluded as early as possible in the summer. Yet with a seemingly bottomless pit of cash on offer, Red Bull could chose to further strengthen another one of their sporting projects.
All of this combined leads for a scary future as far as the traditionalists are concerned. However, if Leipzig continue in this fashion, the Bundesliga could become a much more attractive league to broadcasters and every club will eventually reap the benefits of their unauthentic success.
Current Bundesliga Outright odds (Betfair exchange)
- Bayern Munich – 1.17
- RB Leipzig – 8.00
- Borussia Dortmund – 18.5
- Bayer Leverkusen – 170.0
Recommended Bet: Lay Bayern Munich at 1.17 on one of the exchanges.