RB Leipzig have a lot to live up to going into their second campaign of Bundesliga football. - © © imago / Camera 4
RB Leipzig have a lot to live up to going into their second campaign of Bundesliga football. - © © imago / Camera 4

Season preview: Bundesliga braced for another RB Leipzig fairy-tale


Are 2016/17 Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig a one-hit wonder or are they a genuine force to be reckoned with?

bundesliga.com runs the rule over the Saxony outfit's prospects of topping their big, debut-season splash…

Transfer ins and outs

Leipzig's defiant stance on star midfielder Naby Keita means the core of last season's turbo-charged ensemble remains intact. Six fresh faces will keep the established guard on their toes, with two particularly dynamic additions set to figure prominently in 2017/18.

French forward Jean-Kevin Augustin - top scorer at the 2015/16 UEFA Under-19 European Championships - hit the ground running during pre-season and comes with the added bonus of being able to play across the attack. Mercurial winger Bruma likewise adds another string to the Leipzig bow as RBL prepare for maiden season of UEFA Champions League football.

Fringe players Rani Khedira and Davie Selke have joined Augsburg and Hertha Berlin respectively, but keep an eye out for 17-year-old midfield prodigy Elias Abouchabaka, promoted to the first team in the summer.

Watch: RB Leipzig ready for round II


Ralph Hasenhüttl's stock continues to rise ahead of this his third season as a Bundesliga coach.

Upsetting the applecart not once but twice, the 50-year-old Austrian comfortably steered Bundesliga newcomers Ingolstadt clear of the drop in 2015/16, before masterminding Leipzig's gate-crashing exploits last term.

With a clear philosophy for progressive attacking football, and a bolstered squad, you can bet your bottom dollar Hasenhüttl will rise to the challenge of juggling domestic and European commitments for the first time.

Watch: Leipzig's tactical masterclass

Star man

At the heart of Leipzig's best work in 2016/17 with eight goals and a Bundesliga-high 19 assists, Emil Forsberg will be integral to the Hasenhüttl plan.

The 25-year-old Sweden international enjoys a near-telepathic understanding with strike duo Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen, and personifies Leipzig's seamless and deadly transitional play.

A Bundesliga danger man in his own right, expect Forsberg to take the Champions League stage by storm.

Watch: All of Forsberg's 2016/17 Bundesliga assists

Key dates

Revamped Schalke are up first on Matchday 1, but – assuming they are in the mix come mid-October - it is the Matchday 8 and 10 trips to Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively that will offer a true gauge of Leipzig's title credentials.

Stadium - Red Bull Arena

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