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Leipzig logo
Bundesliga | Gameweek 25
Mar 9, 2024 at 2.30pm UK
Trainingszentrum RB Leipzig Platz 1
SV Darmstadt

RB Leipzig
2 - 0

Isherwood (3' og.), Baumgartner (50')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Muller (7'), Klarer (44'), Franjic (67')

Preview: RB Leipzig vs. SV Darmstadt 98 - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between RB Leipzig and SV Darmstadt 98, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

RB Leipzig will be looking to put the disappointment of their midweek Champions League exit behind them when they welcome Bundesliga basement club SV Darmstadt 98 to the Red Bull Arena on Saturday.

The two teams meet for the first time since October last year when Die Rotten Bullen secured a 3-1 victory at Merck-Stadion am Bollenfalltor.

Match preview

Real Madrid's Antonio Rudiger in action with RB Leipzig's Lois Openda on March 6, 2024© Reuters

For the second successive season, Leipzig have been eliminated from the last 16 of the Champions League after they were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Real Madrid, despite drawing the second leg 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Willi Orban scored his first goal of the season on his 300th appearance for Leipzig to cancel out Real Madrid's opener netted just three minutes earlier by Vinicius Junior, but the German outfit were unable to spark a comeback and, like the first leg, were wasteful in attack as they only registered four of their 20 shots on target.

Marco Rose commended the effort and "extraordinary" belief shown by his players over two legs, but the Leipzig boss suggested that his side 'lacked a little experience in some situations' and were ultimately not blessed with a killer instinct in front of goal in the Spanish capital.

Leipzig can now focus fully on their remaining 10 Bundesliga matches and should be confident of putting together a positive run of form in the coming weeks as they face the current bottom-three teams in their next three matches.

Die Roten Bullen, who sit fifth in the table and just one point behind Borussia Dortmund in fourth, are seeking to claim their third consecutive home league victory on Saturday against a Darmstadt side whom they have beaten in all of their previous three Bundesliga meetings by an aggregate score of 9-1.

SV Darmstadt 98 coach Torsten Lieberknecht before the match on October 28, 2023© Reuters

Darmstadt's club-record winless run was extended to 17 games last weekend after they suffered a heavy 6-0 home defeat to Augsburg – a "catastrophic" loss according to goalkeeper Marcel Schuhen in which they trailed 5-0 after just 29 minutes.

The club's supporters did not hold back as they vented their anger after the match, with one member of their 'ultra' fanbase given permission to berate the crestfallen team with a passionate rant on the pitch.

Head coach Torsten Lieberknecht has insisted that his team remains "completely intact" despite their miserable run of form, with he and his players keen to move swiftly on from last weekend's disastrous defeat as they shift their focus to Saturday's challenging trip to Leipzig, which "is as big as it gets" according to the 50-year-old.

Darmstadt have lost 15 of their 24 Bundesliga matches this season and have accumulated just 13 points, sitting rock bottom of the table and 12 points adrift of safety, while they are only four points behind FC Koln in the relegation playoff position.

Confidence is unsurprisingly low within the Lilles camp at present, but their recent away form can give them a glimmer of hope heading into Saturday's contest as they have drawn four of their last six Bundesliga away matches, scoring a third of their 15 goals across the entire season during this period.

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form:

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):

SV Darmstadt 98 Bundesliga form:

Team News

RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on December 13, 2023© Reuters

Leipzig's only injury concern is with defender Lukas Klostermann, who has been sidelined since mid-February with a thigh injury and is unlikely to return on Saturday.

Xaver Schlager is available to return, though, after serving a one-match domestic ban in a 4-1 win at VfL Bochum last weekend, and the Austrian is expected to start ahead of Nicolas Seiwald in centre-midfield.

Mohamed Simakan served a continental suspension in midweek, but he is available to return on Saturday and will compete with Castello Lukeba for a start at centre-back.

As for Darmstadt, Marvin Mehlem (broken leg), Matthias Bader (hamstring), Fraser Hornby, Clemens Riedel (both ankle) and Fabian Holland (knock) all remain sidelined, while Matej Maglica is a doubt after sustaining a minor injury in training.

However, Fabian Schnellhardt and Braydon Manu could be in contention to return from long-term injuries after taking part in training this week.

Christoph Klarer has been left out of Lieberknecht's matchday squad for the last two games, but the defender has since clarified that it is due to a minor back issue; it remains to be seen if he will be available for selection on Saturday.

Changes are set to be made to Lieberknecht's starting lineup, with the likes of Christoph Zimmermann, Thomas Isherwood, Tobias Kempe and Gerrit Holtmann among those pushing for a recall.

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Henrichs, Simakan, Orban, Raum; Simons, Haidara, Schlager, Olmo; Sesko, Openda

SV Darmstadt 98 possible starting lineup:
Schuhen; Zimmermann, Gjasula, Maglica; Skarke, Franjic, Kempe, Karic; Justvan, Holtmann; Polter

SM words green background

We say: RB Leipzig 3-0 SV Darmstadt 98

Darmstadt supporters will be expecting a response from their team this weekend, but their chances of claiming a positive result are slim considering that they come up against a Champions League-chasing Leipzig outfit on home soil.

Die Roten Bullen have not lost any of their previous 30 top-flight meetings with newly-promoted teams and it is difficult to back against a comfortable victory for the hosts this time around.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior in action RB Leipzig's Lukas Klostermann on February 13, 2024
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