Swedish star Emil Forsberg is at the forefront of Leipzig's success on all three fronts this season - but can his side beat Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga title? - © imago images
Swedish star Emil Forsberg is at the forefront of Leipzig's success on all three fronts this season - but can his side beat Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga title? - © imago images
bundesliga

RB Leipzig's Emil Forsberg on title chances: "We're more unpredictable"

Emil Forsberg is loving life at RB Leipzig as they try to dethrone eight-in-a-row German champions Bayern Munich and once more reach the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Leipzig were still a second-tier side when Forsberg joined the club in January 2015, but six years later they are now only two points behind Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga.

The Swedish attacking midfielder was named on the league's team of the season when Leipzig finished second to Bayern in 2016/17, but this year they seem better placed to challenge last season's treble winners.

Watch: Forsberg scored in a 3-3 draw with Bayern in December

"We've done really well so far," Forsberg told the Kicker meets DAZN podcast. "We know it will be really tough - without question. You have [Borussia] Dortmund, Bayern, [Bayer] Leverkusen, Wolfsburg are there. There are really good teams up there.

"We simply have to focus on ourselves and perform on the pitch. Then we can see if it's enough or not. I'm really satisfied but there's a long way to go. We still have to work hard, keep our feet on the ground, and keep really calm. Bayern are still up there so it won't be easy."

Forsberg has chipped in with four goals and three assists in all competitions so far, playing a more prominent role this season after the departure of Timo Werner.

Germany striker Werner, who scored an impressive 28 league goals in 2019/20, is a tough man to replace. Forsberg credits Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann, though, with getting the best out of a talented squad who have all played their part. 

"If we work well as a team, it's good for every player," the 29-year-old said in the wake of Leipzig's 1-0 win at VfB Stuttgart that has them second in the Bundesliga.

"Of course I'm happy. I know I should have scored a couple more goals because I've had some great chances that I should have put away - including the penalty against Stuttgart. But I feel I've developed a lot in the role I have here and the way I play football now. I've become smarter, and Julian gives me a lot of tips. That's helped me a lot."

RB Leipzig attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg’s strike in a six-goal thriller away to Bayern Munich on Matchday 10 was his third league goal of the 2020/21 campaign. - motivio via www.imago-images.de/imago images/motivio

It's not just in the Bundesliga that Leipzig have done well in the current campaign. Having made it to the semi-finals of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, they negotiated an extremely hard group this term - knocking out Manchester United to set up a last-16 clash with Liverpool next month.

They've also reached the last 16 of the DFB Cup, with Forsberg suggesting that they are getting better all the time in what is Nagelsmann's second year at the club.

"We're able to play in more formations now, so we can always surprise the opponent," the former Malmo player said. "We've seen that especially this year - that we're more unpredictable.

Watch: RB Leipzig reloaded - tactical analysis

"We've become a lot better. We're better with the ball and have more solutions… we’ve improved in every area."

Leipzig's trophy hunt has been boosted by the arrival of Hungary star Dominik Szoboszlai for the second half of the season. Forsberg - who got a staggering 19 league assists in 2016/17 when Leipzig finished runners-up - will hope he can continue his own good form when they host Dortmund on Saturday.