RB Leipzig head into their fourth Bundesliga campaign with a new sense of optimism as a new era begins under coach Julian Nagelsmann.
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at what to expect from Die Roten Bullen…
Aims in 2019/20
New boss Nagelsmann has never been short of confidence since becoming the youngest permanent head coach in Bundesliga history at the age of 28. He remained unbeaten in his first three matches against Bayern Munich and rocks up at the Red Bull Arena looking to topple the record champions.
“I think we’re in a position to challenge Bayern”, he declared ahead of the campaign, leaving in no doubt that Leipzig’s goal in 2019/20 is in fact the Bundesliga title. However, should they fail to better their second-place finish from their maiden top-flight campaign, the Saxony club will be looking for nothing less than a top-four spot and another UEFA Champions League qualification.
Die Roten Bullen are also competing at the top table of European football for the second time this season and will hope to go at least one better than their group-stage exit from 2017/18. The club also enjoyed a run to a first-ever DFB Cup final last season, losing 3-0 to Bayern, and could target that as another source of silverware.
Player to watch
In a team full of youthful exuberance, 23-year-old striker Timo Werner is a leader from the front. Already Germany’s first-choice striker, he has 61 competitive goals in just three seasons for the club. Averaging a goal every other game, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Boot winner is among the most prolific goalscorers in Bundesliga history. Already the youngest player ever to reach 100 and 150 Bundesliga appearances, you suspect yet more records may be broken by the Leipzig striker, especially with Nagelsmann now overseeing proceedings.
Watch: Timo Werner's Bundesliga mixtape
OUT: Bruma (PSV Eindhoven), Julian Krahl (Cologne), Erik Majetschak (Erzgebirge Aue), Marius Müller (FC Luzern), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal, end of loan)
How they might line up
Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena has stood in its current form since 2004, when it was reconstructed within the city’s old Zentralstadion in a manner similar to Chicago’s Soldier Field. The rebuild was done for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, where Leipzig hosted five games. RB took over the stadium in 2010, which currently holds 42,959 spectators for football matches but can hold up to 50,000 for concerts, and the name was changed to the Red Bull Arena.
First five fixtures
Matchday 1: Union Berlin (a) – Sunday, 18 August, 6pm CEST
Matchday 2: Eintracht Frankfurt (h) – Sunday, 25 August, 3.30pm CEST
Matchday 3: Borussia Mönchengladbach (a) – Friday, 30 August, 8.30pm CEST
Matchday 4: Bayern Munich (h) – Saturday, 14 September, 6.30pm CEST
Matchday 5: Werder Bremen (a) – Saturday, 21 September, 6.30pm CEST