RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Dortmund: How do they stack up?


RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund face off on Saturday, with the winner closing in on the prize of a top-four place and a guaranteed spot in next season's UEFA Champions League. bundesliga.com looks at how the teams compare...

Through to the semi-finals following their incredible win over Atletico Madrid, Dortmund could still secure a place in next season's premier European club competition by lifting the trophy for a second time in their history. Even if they do not, their exploits may still play a big part in ensuring the team that finishes fifth in the Bundesliga this season could also earn a Champions League spot.

The what ifs and maybes will be nowhere to be seen at kick-off in the Red Bull Arena on Saturday, however, as fourth-placed Leipzig host fifth-placed Dortmund, two points back. With just four games left this season, neither team can afford to lose - bundesliga.com looks at how the sides shape up ahead of what should be a Bundesliga barnstormer.


Leipzig's win over Heidenheim last weekend means they are now unbeaten in eight competitive outings, and have picked up 19 of a possible 21 points from their last seven league matches.

Watch: Heidenheim 1-2 RB Leipzig - highlights

"It wasn’t easy today, Heidenheim did really well. But we're also doing very well at the moment," said goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi, whose return to the team has seen him not lose - and rack up eight wins - in 10 Bundesliga appearances. "I hope it stays that way until the end of the season. Because that would mean that we achieve our goals. We aim to be among the top four teams. We don't want to qualify for the Champions League just because fifth place might be enough."

Perhaps the Leipzig number one and his Dortmund counterpart got together to align their pre-match comments. "As long as it's not decided, we must do all we can to make sure we play Champions League football next season," said Gregor Kobel of fifth place potentially becoming a qualifying spot. "We can't rely on something theoretical. We have to win the next game in order to have things in our own hands."

Dortmund have certainly been pushing, and have picked up one point more than Leipzig in the 13 Rückrunde matches so far: 27 to 26. They have five wins, one defeat (to Stuttgart) and - most recently - a draw against champions Leverkusen in their last seven league outings heading into Matchday 31.

Watch: Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen - highlights


Dortmund are the only Bundesliga team to have faced Leverkusen twice this season and not lost. Leipzig though will provide another stiff challenge, and it is one Dortmund have struggled to meet in recent seasons.

Leipzig have won five of the duo's last six competitive meetings, including a 3-2 triumph at the Signal Iduna Park on Matchday 14 earlier this season.

There's good news for the neutral, meanwhile: not one of their 17 competitive meetings has ended goalless with 19 goals combined in the last five Bundesliga matches, an average of almost four per 90 minutes.

Watch: Borussia Dortmund 2-3 RB Leipzig - highlights

Defence vs attack

Goals have been the duo's stock in trade in the Rückrunde, though not for the same reasons.

Leipzig's challenge has been built on scoring them, and Marco Rose's men are the second-top scorers in the second half of the campaign with only Bayern Munich (34) finding the net more often in the last 13 games than Leipzig (31).

A key reason for that is the form of Benjamin Šeško. "Every striker waits for moments like my goal," said the Slovenia international after scoring the scuffed opener against Heidenheim. "At the right moment the ball comes to you at the right time, and I'm happy that I was able to score."

His problem in the first half of the season was that the ball was not coming, or if it did, he did not take the chances. He scored only three times in 14 Hinrunde appearances, but the 20-year-old is now fully living up to the hype that accompanied his summer switch from Red Bull Salzburg.

Benjamin Šeško has scored ten goals in 27 appearances in his first season in the Bundesliga. - Getty Images

He has scored seven times in the last 12 Bundesliga games, including once in each of the last three, and only Florian Wirtz has a higher goals tally among the German top-flight's U21 players. Add to that Loïs Openda's sizzling form - he has a league-leading 12 Rückrunde goals following his winner at Heidenheim, to move to a season's total of 23  - and you can see why Leipzig's 'goals for' tally has been rocketing.

Dortmund have not usually found scoring goals a problem, but having conceded 25 in the opening 17 matches - the most of the top six clubs at the halfway stage - Edin Terzić's team have significantly tightened up.

They have conceded just three times in their last four matches, which included games against Bayern - in which they kept a clean sheet - Stuttgart and Leverkusen. They have the second-best defensive record (10 goals conceded) behind Leverkusen (8) in the second half of the season.

Watch: Borussia Dortmund daring to dream again

Marcel Sabitzer has posed an increasing threat going forward in recent weeks and the former Leipzig man teed up Niclas Füllkrug's opener with his sixth goal involvement in BVB's last three competitive games.

Sabitzer, who scored 32 times in 145 Bundesliga games for Leipzig, has won both his previous meetings with his former club though they were both during the 2021/22 season while he was at Bayern. He missed the team's first meeting this season due to injury.

How much Dortmund's defensive stability will be altered by the suspensions of Emre Can and Ian Maatsen is something for Terzić to ponder.

The BVB boss is both the predecessor and successor of Rose in the role, and signed off his first stint with a handsome 4-1 DFB Cup final win over Leipzig ahead of Rose's arrival in summer 2021.

Within a season, Rose was out and Terzić was back, and the former Dortmund youth academy coach has grown into the role. His side have evolved too - with the Matchday 27 win over Bayern and coming desperately close to being the first team to beat Leverkusen just a couple of their signature performances in the current campaign.

Edin Terzić is one round away from following Ottmar Hitzfeld in taking Borussia Dortmund to a UEFA Champions League final - Alex Gottschalk/POOL/Alex Gottschalk/POOL

They have not lost any of their last 10 away Bundesliga games - the second-best such run in club history - and with a Champions League semi-final tie against Paris Saint-Germain to look forward to, Terzić clearly has his team performing at a high level.

"Edin Terzić and his team are doing an outstanding job,” said BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke earlier this year. "By the way, I already said that in November, when things were looking bleaker in terms of our football. I'm glad that my opinion is now reflected in the results."

Given Rose left the club after taking Dortmund to a runners-up finish behind Bayern, he has little to prove to his former employers. His youthful Leipzig team have 13 counter-attack goals this season - compared to Dortmund's 11 - which suggests we are in store for an open game at the Red Bull Arena.

Dortmund have finished ahead of Die Roten Bullen in five of the seven Bundesliga seasons the pair have shared, but Rose's side are the league's most in-form team right now.

Rose celebrated his 37th win as Leipzig coach at Heidenheim, drawing level with Julian Nagelsmann for victories in the role. Another triumph in what Gulasci describes as "a six-pointer" would give his team a great opportunity for a seventh top-four finish in eight top-flight campaigns and leave Dortmund hoping fifth place will be enough.