A baptism of fire awaits RB Leipzig’s new coach in Saturday’s crunch Bundesliga collision with fellow heavyweights Borussia Dortmund following Wednesday’s sacking of the team’s German Cup winning coach Domenico Tedesco. A humiliating 1-4 Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk was the last straw that forced the club board to part ways with the 36-year-old.
Tedesco’s job had been under threat all season due to a wretched run of form, with the normally upwardly mobile club only able to register two victories in eight competitive outings. A leaky defense was a particular Archilles’ heel, with Leipzig shipping in an alarming 23 goals in their last 9 fixtures, including four apiece in games against Eintracht Frankfurt and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Edin Terzic’s Dortmund are in fine fettle after winning five out of their opening six fixtures, with Tuesday’s 3-0 Champion League victory over FC Copenhagen a moral booster for the Signal Iduna Park outfit ahead of visits to the Red Bull Arena and next Wednesday’s reunion with Erling Braut Haaland at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. RB Leipzig’s interim coach must meanwhile contend with a midweek trip to Real Madrid.
Reigning champions Bayern Munich will have one eye on next week’s epic Champions League clash with old boy Robert Lewandowski’s Barcelona when they welcome Stuttgart to the Allianz Arena. After netting a record 17 goals in their first four fixtures this season, Julian Nagelsmann’s charges have gone off the boil with consecutive draws with Gladbach and Union Berlin seeing them drop to third on the standings.
Bundesliga action gets underway on Friday with high flying four time champions Werder Bremen at home to Augsburg. Frankfurt versus Wolfsburg is the pick of the other Saturday matches that will also witness Hertha Berlin hosting troubled Bayer Leverkusen, Hoffenheim up against Mainz and Schalke clash with Bochum. Table leaders Union Berlin face unbeaten Koln on Sunday afternoon.
Werder Bremen v Augsburg
Bayern Munich v Stuttgart,
Frankfurt v Wolfsburg,
Hertha Berlin v Bayer Leverkusen,
Hoffenheim v Mainz,
RB Leipzig v Borussia Dortmund,
Schalke v Bochum
Koln v Union Berlin,
Freiburg v Gladbach