Bielefeld – RB Leipzig
By Ben Sully
RB Leipzig enter the final matchday in pole position for the fourth and final Champions League place, and their place in the top four will be secured with a positive result against Arminia Bielefeld.
|Mohamed Simakan.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Unfortunately for Bielefeld, only a miracle will keep them in the top flight. Saturday’s hosts are currently in the automatic relegation zone, with three points separating them from Stuttgart.
With their goal difference significantly poorer than Stuttgart’s, their hopes of Bundesliga survival are incredibly slim.
For a miracle to occur, Bielefeld need to do their part, which is likely to require a victory over Leipzig by a considerable margin.
However, recent results suggest that seems an impossible task, with Die Arminen winless in their last 10 matches.
Only five of their 33 league games this season have resulted in victory, while their biggest winning margin in the Bundesliga has been two goals. All signs indicate that Bielefeld are set to drop through the trap door.
If their two-season stay in the top flight is to come to an end then Die Arminen will be hoping to end the campaign with a positive result. They do have the chance to clinch a league double over Leipzig are winning the reverse fixture via a 2-0 scoreline.
Fabian Klos has played his last game for the hosts, with a jaw injury preventing a farewell appearance for the striker, and he is joined on the sidelines by Bryan Lasme.
Leipzig are set for a nervy final day, with the fourth-placed side aiming to secure a Champions League spot.
A draw or better would make sure of their top four position, but a defeat on Saturday would present Freiburg with the opportunity to move into the Champions League places.
Although they have lost three of their last five matches in all competitions, the visitors moved back into the top four last weekend thanks to a comfortable 4-0 victory against Augsburg. Andre Silva opened the scoring before Christopher Nkunku netted a brace, while Emil Forsberg wrapped up the win after dispatching his spot-kick in the 64th minute.
Leipzig may be favorites ahead of the final day contest, but back-to-back 3-1 away defeats suggest that Saturday’s encounter may be trickier than anticipated.
The visitors will, however, be confident of troubling the scorers after finding the net in their last 15 away games in all competitions.
Josko Gvardiol and Amadou Haidara are expected to miss out due to knee problems. Tedesco will welcome back Mohamed Simakan after the defender served a one-match suspension last weekend.
Final lineups are posted before start.
Bochum – Bielefeld 2-1
|15||N. De Medina|
|4||J Nilsson ⚽|
|5||J Laursen ↪77|
|8th||A. Schöpf ↪86|
|11||M. Okugawa ↪77|
|18||F Kruger ↪46|
|7||G. Castro ↪67|
|21||R Hack ↩86|
|23||J Serra ↩46|
|24||G. Bello ↩77 ⚽|
|17||B. İnce ↩77|
RB Leipzig – Augsburg 4-0
|1||P. Gulacsi (c) ↪88|
|27||K Laimer ↪71|
|10||E Forsberg ⚽ ↪71|
|18||C. Nkunku ⚽⚽ ↪78|
|33||A Silva ⚽ ↪71|
|13||P. Tschauner ↩88|
|9||Y. Poulsen ↩71|
|38||H. Novoa Ramos|
|14||T Adams ↩71|
|25||Daniel Olmo ↩78|