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

:Headline: Preview: Babelsberg vs. RB Leipzig - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's DFB-Pokal clash between Babelsberg and RB Leipzig, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Last season's DFB-Pokal runners-up RB Leipzig will be hoping for a comfortable progression to round three of this year's competition when they visit fourth-tier side Babelsberg on Tuesday evening.

The hosts will look to enjoy their special occasion after already knocking out Bundesliga opposition in the first round, whilst their visitors are likely to rest a number of key players in the hope that a simple win should still be achieved.

Match preview

Playing in the Regionalliga Nordost - the fourth tier of German football - Tuesday's hosts Babelsberg have emjoyed a fairly positive start to the 2021-22 campaign.

Jorg Buder's side currently find themselves in sixth place, out of 20 teams, after recording eight wins from their opening 15 fixtures so far.

Just one defeat in their last seven matches has seen them rise up the table in recent weeks, although they have now won just once in their last four after registering back-to-back 1-1 draws.

The most recent of these was on Friday evening, which arrived against third-placed Lokomotive Leipzig, where Daniel Frahn's penalty midway through the first half was cancelled out on the stroke of half time.

Their attentions now turn to Tuesday's cup tie against one of the giants of German football, with no expectation or pressure placed on the side to achieve a result of any kind, and will instead look to enjoy the occasion in front of their own supporters.

After knocking out top-flight side Greuther Furth on penalties following a 2-2 draw in round one, though, the hosts have already progressed further than they have done in the last 15 years, and will be keen to make it a difficult night for the visiting stars.

Meanwhile, Leipzig head into this second round tie after defeating the previously-mentioned Greuther in Bundesliga action on Saturday.

Despite being expected to record a comfortable victory, Die Roten Bullen struggled over the line despite the flattering 4-1 scoreline in the end.

After deservedly falling behind to a penalty on the stroke of half time, after an opening 45 in which they could have easily had a two or three-goal deficit, normality was resumed shortly after the restart.

Yussuf Poulsen equalised, before Emil Forsberg netted a hosts' penalty of their own, and Dominik Szoboszlai and youngster Hugo Novoa rounded off the win during a much-improved second-half display.

The performance was still far from perfect, as they have been for the majority of new manager Jesse Marsch's games since his arrival in the summer.

That victory did at least lift Leipzig to sixth place in the Bundesliga, with their attentions now turning to a cup tie in which they will be expected to record a comfortable win.

After suffering defeat in the finals of last season and 2018-19 as well, Tuesday's visitors will be hoping this tie is just a stepping stone on the way to lifting the trophy for the first time in their short history.

Babelsberg DFB-Pokal form:
  • D

Babelsberg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D

RB Leipzig DFB-Pokal form:
  • W

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Expected to battle around mid-table in the fourth tier, Babelsberg will be expected to put out a strong side against Leipzig on Tuesday, with very few changes to their starting lineup.

Goalkeeper Marco Flugel was the hero of the previous round against Greuther, and should take the place of first-choice goalkeeper Jannick Thiessen between the posts again.

Goalscorers Marcus Hoffmann and Marcel Rausch from that tie are amongst the regular first-team players expected to start.

As for Leipzig, they will remain without long-term absentees Marcel Halstenberg and Marcelo Saracchi on Tuesday, with the duo yet to feature so far this campaign.

The creative Dani Olmo has been missing for the last month and although he is nearing a return, he is unlikely to be risked just yet.

Lukas Klostermann and Brian Brobbey are also ruled out, with returns not expected until next month.

Youngsters and fringe players are expected to earn some valuable minutes on the pitch, with an opportunity to rest some key first-team players such as Christopher Nkunku and Andre Silva likely to be taken by Marsch.

Babelsberg possible starting lineup:
Flugel; Wilton, Lela, Hoffmann, Wegener; Reimann, Danko; Rausch, Schmidt, Muller; Frahn

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Simakan, Orban, Gvardiol; Adams, Wosz, Moriba, Henrichs; Novoa, Szoboszlai; Poulsen

We say: Babelsberg 0-3 RB Leipzig

Leipzig may endure some nervy moments courtesy of their hosts Babelsberg on Tuesday, particularly if they can replicate their incredible performance from round one.

It is likely to be an intimidating atmosphere and they could take a while to find their rhythm if the players brought in struggle to get going, but on paper it should be a comfortable win for Leipzig with there being a huge difference in quality between the two sides.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a draw 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.Draw:data

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