RB Leipzig travel to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday looking to build on their 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund just before the international break (2.30pm kick-off, UK time).
Things have just started to click into gear for Jesse Marsch following his summer appointment. Leipzig started the season with just one win in their opening five games, but are now on a tear of seven unbeaten games, claiming some huge scalps in that run, including Dortmund. Hoffenheim meanwhile are where they were probably expected to be before a ball was kicked this season, around mid-table, but Sebastian Hoeness will have bigger aspirations than another 11th-placed finish.
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Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Hoffenheim are a force to be reckoned with Sinsheim, with Die Kraichgauer boasting a record of just one home defeat in their last nine Bundesliga matches, winning each of their last three. The last time TSG celebrated four home wins in a row came under Marsch’s Leipzig predecessor Julian Nagelsmann.
Speaking of Marsch, his side are up to fifth in the table and unbeaten in seven games. However, the club have not won any of their last eight Bundesliga games away from home, so Die Roten Bullen must start to pick up points on the road if they harbour genuine aspirations of a top-four finish this campaign.
- Hoffenheim (vs Bochum): Baumann; Posch, Grillitsch, Vogt; Stiller, Akpoguma, Skov*, Rudy, Baumgartner8; Kramaric, Bebou.
- RB Leipzig (vs Borussia Dortmund): Gulacsi; Mukiele, Simaken, Gvardiol; Henrichs, Haidara, Adams, Angelino; Poulsen, Szoboszlai; Nkunku.
Christoph Baumgartner and Robert Skov are both expected to sit this one out for the hosts, while Leipzig remain without influential defensive trio Marcel Halstenberg, Lukas Klostermann and Willi Orban.
Christopher Nkunku: PSG’s biggest transfer regret?
Paris has long been a dense hotbed for emerging talent, but not all progress through the PSG academy, and even when they do, they find a traffic jam of world class talent blocking their path to the first team. As such, Christopher Nkunku has been one of many to up sticks and find more consistent playing time elsewhere.
The versatile 24-year-old featured a fair amount for PSG (78 appearances in total), but starts proved a rare commodity for him, and he since become the centrepiece in Saxony, with this season being one where he has catapulted his status into the limelight and consolidated a position as an elite attacker.
Incredibly, Nkunku has scored 11 goals in all competitions this season. In the entire previous campaign, no Leipzig player scored more often (Poulsen on 11). In fact, in 17 matches this term, the Frenchman has been directly involved in 15 goals (11 goals, four assists), just one less than in all of last season (40 games).
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