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Aug 7, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
SV SandhausenSV Sandhausen
RB LeipzigRB Leipzig

Sickinger (36')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Orban (19'), Haidara (45'), Nkunku (60'), Szoboszlai (81')

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

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

SV Sandhausen face RB Leipzig in the first round of the DFB-Pokal on Saturday, with the visitors embarking on a new era under the management of Jesse Marsch.

Sandhausen, meanwhile, will be looking to inflict a major upset on a side one division above them.

Match preview

Although Sandhausen have been a 2.Bundesliga club since 2012, the difference in resources between themselves and Leipzig should not be underestimated.

After winning the third tier of German football in the 2011-12 campaign, Sandhausen were promoted to the second tier of German football for the first time in their entire history.

Given that they have finished in the bottom half in each of their nine seasons at that level, it is quite remarkable that they have remained there since, with last season a perfect example of that having avoided the dreaded relegation playoffs by a solitary point.

If their start to the new campaign is anything to go by, though, they could be set for a long, tough season ahead of them.

Indeed, they have failed to score a goal in 2-0 and 3-0 defeats to Dusseldorf and Jahn Regensburg respectively, with the latter a particularly crushing defeat given that their opponents only finished one position ahead of them last season.

In a sense, then, Saturday's test against Leipzig could represent a welcome free hit for the Baden-Wurttemberg-based side, who have unusually been led by two joint-managers since Stefan Kulovits and Gerhard Kleppinger were appointed in tandem in February earlier this year.

It would be fair to say that there is more pressure on Leipzig on Saturday, then, with Marsch taking charge of his first competitive game since departing Red Bull Salzburg.

The 47-year-old replaced Julian Nagelsmann after he opted to depart for Bayern Munich, and takes over a talented team which finished second in the Bundesliga and as runners-up in the DFB-Pokal last season.

The American boss led Salzburg to a domestic double in both of his campaigns, and is clearly a favourite of the Red Bull regime having won MLS Coach of the Year in his first season with New York Red Bulls in 2015.

However, the extent to which Salzburg have dominated Austrian football in recent years is on a similar level to Bayern in Germany, with Die Roten Bulen winning each of the last eight titles.

As such, it is difficult to truly judge Marsch as a manager, but he will be acutely aware that the challenge in front of him at Leipzig is far greater, even if he has been significantly backed in the transfer market with seven first-team players signed for a total of around £80m.

With Nagelsmann ultimately failing to win a trophy during his time at Leipzig, despite undoubtedly improving them and impressively guiding them to a Champions League semi-final in 2019-20, Marsch will be looking to go one step further than his predecessor, with the DFB-Pokal perhaps the most realistic way of doing so.

SV Sandhausen form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L

Team News

Despite being sent off after receiving two cautions in the defeat to Jahn, Oumar Diakhite will be available for selection against Leipzig on Saturday.

The central defender will instead miss his side's home match against Karlsruher next weekend, with league suspensions not carrying over to the DFB-Pokal.

Leipzig, meanwhile, may have to wait for Brian Brobbey and Dominik Szoboszlai to make their competitive debuts for the club due to the pair both carrying muscular injuries.

Szoboszlai failed to make an appearance after joining the club in January due to an adductor issue, which also caused him to miss Hungary's Euro 2020 campaign.

Nineteen-year-old Brobbey, meanwhile, has arrived on a free transfer from Ajax to provide competition for fellow new signing Andre Silva, who will be expected to provide the missing piece of the jigsaw as a genuinely elite centre-forward for Leipzig.

Silva was absent in the recent friendly against Ajax but should be involved on Saturday, although most likely from the bench after returning to pre-season later than some of his teammates due to his summer exploits with Portugal.

Mohamed Simakan, however, will almost certainly start after being signed from Strasbourg as the man expected to fill the void of the departed Dayot Upamecano, who has followed Nagelsmann to Bayern, especially with Ibrahima Konate also departing for Liverpool.

Dani Olmo is not available due to his involvement with Spain Under-23s at the Tokyo Olympics. The 23-year-old may not be seen in the Bundesliga for a while having also played a key role for Spain at Euro 2020.

SV Sandhausen possible starting lineup:
Drewes; Diakhite, Hohn, Zhirov; Renneke, Bachmann, Zenga, Okoroji; Soukou, Keita-Ruel, Esswein

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulasci; Mukiele, Orban, Simakan, Angelino; Haidara, Kampl, Adams; Samardzic, Sorloth, Nkunku

We say: SV Sandhausen 0-2 RB Leipzig

After making a disappointing start to their league season, we expect Sandhausen to scrap and remain competitive in the game.

Leipzig are at an earlier stage of their campaign, and may take time to gel under Marsch's tutelage. However, they should still have too much quality for a side which was almost relegated to the third tier last season.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win 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.Away Win:data

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