They may have picked up just a point from their past three Bundesliga fixtures, but RB Leipzig are still destined to make history this season.

Not since the very early days of the Bundesliga – 1966 to be precise – have a club made such an impact in their maiden season in Germany's top flight.

Back then it was Bayern Munich who stormed to a third-placed finish with 47 points (67 using the three-points-for-a-win rule introduced in 1995/96), scoring 71 goals and conceding 38 in their first ever top-flight campaign.

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The Matchday 25 results may have widened the odds of Leipzig emulating Kaiserslautern, who won the title straight after promotion in 1998, but this season's new kids on the Bundesliga block are nevertheless on course for European football next season, which is an achievement not to be sniffed at.

With 49 points from their first 25 Bundesliga fixtures, Leipzig have already out-performed all but four promoted teams before them. The bar set by Otto Rehhagel's Red Devils, who took one of the most surprise titles in Bundesliga history with 68 points in that famous 1997/98 campaign, is still within their sights, and there are nine games left for the Saxon club to crown what has already been an historic year.

"Maybe we're just lacking a bit of experience to give the right reaction to setbacks." - Davie Selke

European qualification looms, just like it did for Bochum in 1997, Werder Bremen in 1982, Wuppertaler SV in 1973 and VfB Stuttgart in 1978, but all talk of that has been dismissed as premature.

"We've already said that we've still got a long way to go before we can talk about that," said coach Ralph Hasenhüttl after Bremen coach Alexander Nouri wished him "good luck in Europe" following Werder's 3-0 win on Matchday 25.

"We've got to make sure we don't throw all our good work away," added Marcel Sabitzer, who hit the woodwork and watched on as the ball agonisingly rolled across the face of goal in that game – a scene symptomatic of what has become the roughest period of form Leipzig have endured in their short top-flight life so far.

Davie Selke (l.) says inexperience could be behind Leipzig's recent stumble. © gettyimages / Ronny Hartmann

"Maybe we're just lacking a bit of experience to give the right reaction to setbacks," mused Davie Selke. It is indeed new ground for the league newcomers, but the international break could have come at just the right time to enable them to re-sharpen their focus for the season run-in.

Leipzig resume their campaign on Matchday 26 against Darmstadt, a team they beat 2-0 in the midst of an eight-game winning streak during the first half of the season. With Borussia Dortmund just three points behind and Hoffenheim just a point further back, Hasenhüttl's charges could need a similar sequence to seal a place in the UEFA Champions League next season.

However, with 13 points separating the easterners from seventh-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, the first position currently not carrying UEFA Europa League qualification (although that could still change depending on who wins the DFB Cup), it appears UEFA will welcome a new club into one of their competitions next season, one that could yet go down as the Bundesliga's best ever newcomer.

Ben Gladwell

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