A Glance At RB Leipzig As German Club’s Topsy Turvy Form Takes Another Twist

Celtic travel to Germany to face RB Leipzig in match day three of the UEFA Champions League. The fixture presents a match up that is hard to predict.

Celtic were flying when they last played in Europe, but they haven’t been as impressive in their subsequent two domestic fixtures and are unlikely to have the services of Carter-Vickers, Starfelt or Giakoumakis from the start. However, the Hoops have an abundance of ability and plenty of confidence to draw from their start to the season overall.

RB Leipzig have had a bizarre opening to their campaign. The concession of four goals in back to back games (4-0 v Eintracht Frankfurt and 4-1 v Shaktar Donetsk) spelled the end for manager Domenico Tedesco, who was promptly replaced by the highly rated Marco Rose.

Under the new regime, Leipzig appeared to have turned things around with a 3-0 victory over Dortmund, but they crashed back to earth with a 2-0 defeat in Madrid and then a poor 3-0 reverse at the hands of Rose’s former club Borussia Monchengladbach. That said, RB Leipzig bounced back again with a 4-0 triumph over VFL Bochum at the weekend, so they go into this fixture with their topsy turvy form currently on an upwards trajectory.

Celtic sit third in the group with one point from two Champions League games. The Hoops will certainly feel aggrieved at that tally, having missed a number of chances against Real Madrid and utterly dominating the match against Shaktar Donetsk. Indeed, many Celtic fans feel that their team should currently be on at least three points, if not more. On the other hand, Leipzig have been well beaten in their opening encounters, sitting bottom of the group without any points on the board.

With Real Madrid looking like they’ll be runaway winners of the group, and Shaktar fortuitously positioned second on four points, the battle to reach the last 16 or Europa League round of 32 is very much wide open. A win would set Celtic up strongly with two home games to play, though a draw would also put Ange Postecoglou’s side in a solid position. From a Leipzig perspective, if they play like the team that beat Bochum rather than the one that shipped three goals against Gladbach then they’ll fancy their chances of leapfrogging the Bhoys and putting real pressure on Shaktar.

Hopefully Celtic play as well as they have in the previous Champions League matches, but become much more clinical in front of goal. It would be the least we deserve from an encouraging campaign to date.


About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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