Oct 24, 2020 at 2.30pm UK
RB LeipzigRB Leipzig
Hertha BerlinHertha Berlin
Upamecano (11'), Sabitzer (77' pen.)
Upamecano (48')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Cordoba (8')
Tousart (17'), Zeefuik (47'), Labbadia (90+1'), Ngankam (90+2')
Zeefuik (50')

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

:Headline: Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Hertha Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:419320: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Saturday's match between RB Leipzig and Hertha Berlin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

RB Leipzig head into Saturday's 2020-21 Bundesliga meeting with Hertha Berlin full of confidence after last weekend's 2-0 win at Augsburg kept them unbeaten and top of the table after four matches.

Hertha, meanwhile, are unexpectedly languishing perilously close to the relegation zone after three consecutive losses has seen them drop to 15th place in the table.

Match preview

It has been a superb start for Julian Nagelsmann's side, who have shown little sign of struggling without last season's top goalscorer Timo Werner following the German international's summer move to Chelsea.

Indeed, if anything Leipzig look a stronger collective outfit, retaining possession better and conceding fewer chances. Nagelsmann's answer to the £45m sale of Werner appears to be utilising a false nine, with Dani Olmo, Emil Forsberg and Christopher Nkunku comprising a fluid front three in recent weeks.

Striker Yussuf Poulsen certainly did his best to change his manager's mind, however, with a magnificent Marco van Basten-esque volley sealing the three points at Augsburg after coming on as a substitute.

Angelino had opened the scoring in the first half with another fine header at the back post, and the former Manchester City wing-back astonishingly made it four goals in three matches with a brace in the 2-0 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League in midweek.

Nagelsmann and Leipzig fans alike will firmly be expecting their side to remain top for a third successive week after facing a Hertha side who, while dangerous on their day, are struggling to pick up a positive result at the moment.

Indeed, after lavishing around £30m on new signings in the summer transfer window, Hertha fans will be in mild despair at the club's current position of 15th in the table. It is still very early days, of course, but equally it is certainly not the best time to be heading to Leipzig after three successive defeats.

Bruno Labbadia will have been particularly annoyed that he could not get one over on his former side Stuttgart at the weekend, with the promoted visitors running out deserved 2-0 winners at the Olympiastadion. Marc-Oliver Kempf was allowed the freedom of the pitch when opening the scoring with an unmarked header from a set piece, before Gonzalo Castro's fine long range effort took the game away from the hosts in the second half.

Perhaps most worrying for Labbadia was his side's inability to create any clear cut chances through their own play; the closest they came to scoring was a miscued Orel Mangala clearance in the first half, before Matheus Cunha's close-range effort was denied by Gregor Kobel in the second half after the opposing goalkeeper had carelessly lost the ball in his own area.

Die Alte Dame supporters will be hoping for a performance much closer to the one which almost earned them a point in the 4-3 defeat at Bayern Munich prior to the international break.

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form: WDWW
RB Leipzig form (all competitions): WWDWWW

Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form: WLLL
Hertha Berlin form (all competitions): LWLLL

Team News

Nagelsmann mixed things up a little in the midweek win against Istanbul, bringing in Willi Orban, Kevin Kampl and Poulsen, but he is likely to play his strongest XI as he chases Leipzig's first ever Bundesliga title.

Konrad Laimer remains out after fracturing his ankle, as do Lukas Klostermann and Fabrice Hartmann with knee injuries, but otherwise the Leipzig boss appears to have a clean bill of health to choose from.

The 33-year-old's main dilemma will be whether to continue with the striker-less system which has seen his side retain the ball so well, or bring Poulsen into the side to provide a more physical focal point. With Klostermann now injured, the solution may be moving Nkunku from the attack to a wing-back role as he did against Istanbul.

Labbadia, meanwhile, is still unable to hand midfielder Matteo Guendouzi his debut after joining on loan from Arsenal due to the Frenchman contracting coronavirus. Jordan Torunarigha, Peter Pekarik and Santiago Ascacibar are all out with injury.

The Hertha manager will certainly be considering freshening things up after suffering three consecutive defeats, with Krzysztof Piatek pushing for a start ahead of summer signing Jhon Cordoba in attack.

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

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Schwolow; Zeefuik, Stark, Boyata, Plattenhardt; Darida, Tousart; Dilrosun, Mittelstadt, Cunha; Cordoba

We say: RB Leipzig 2-1 Hertha Berlin

Klostermann's potentially lengthy absence after undergoing knee surgery presents Nagelsman with an undoubted defensive issue in terms of whether to retain the back three which has worked so well or move to a more conventional back four.

As they showed at the Allianz Arena prior to the international break, Hertha are a dangerous counter-attacking side who can punish defensive vulnerabilities. However, they have their own at the moment, too, so we expect Leipzig to be a little too strong for them in their current state.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 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 2.5:data

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11Werder Bremen92521315-211
13Hertha Berlin82151518-37
15FC Koln91351015-56
16Mainz 0581161021-114
17Arminia Bielefeld9117619-134
18Schalke 04Schalke9036628-223
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