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RB Leipzig: Another Leicester City-like fairytale on the cards in Germany?

Friday 18th November 2016
When you think of the German Bundesliga, two teams - Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund immediately come to mind. But the 2016/17 season has sprung a lot of surprises, with little known RB Leipzig one of the most prominent.

Call it a fluke, first season wonder or whatever you can think of, but Leipzig is definitely having an unbelievable impact in their debut campaign among Germany's elite clubs. The Bulls are currently unbeaten in the league with 24 points - same as leaders Bayern who have a superior goal difference. A point against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday will see the side knock the Bavarians off the summit of the log, at least until they face Dortmund in the ‘Der Klassiker'.

But how are Leipzig, who only just gained promotion to the top flight, doing so well in their maiden campaign? Are we going to see another fairytale in Germany just like Leicester City in the Premier League? We take a look at their journey so far.

How it all began

RBL was founded by the initiative of energy drink maker, Red Bull GmbH, who purchased the playing rights of fifth division side, SSV Markranstädt, with the intention of advancing the new club to the top-flight Bundesliga within eight years. However, the Bulls achieved this feat within a shorter time span by earning four promotions in seven years. Austrian side, FC Red Bull Salzburg, is alleged to be their unofficial sister club.

Journey to the Bundesliga

Leipzig arrived in the elite division having finished second in the Bundesliga 2 behind FC Nürnberg. The club spent two seasons in the second tier before finally gaining promotion in 2016. This was made possible by their massive expenditure, estimated to be around  €12 million in 2014 and a further €18.6 million a year later.

Fairytale run

Just like reigning Premier League champions, Leicester, Leipzig began the season on fire. The Bulls were forced to a stalemate on the road by Hoffeinham before beating Dortmund 1-0 at home and then Hamburg away 4-0. This was followed by successive draws against Koln and Borussia Mönchengladbach, which paved the way for a streak of six successive victories including two 3-1 wins over Wolfsburg and Mainz.

Amazing stats

LFB are undefeated in their first ten league matches this season, equalling the record for the longest unbeaten streak of a promoted team to the Bundesliga. And they could become the first to go 11 games without tasting defeat if they manage a point at Leverkusen.

“We definitely want to take something there and remain unbeaten. If there is a point available, then there will also be three,” said Leipzig's coach Ralph Hasenhuettl ahead of the clash at Leverkusen's BayArena.

LFB has also been impressive in front of goal scoring 20 thus far - averaging two goals in every match. This remarkable return is only bettered by Dortmund (25) and Bayern (24). Aside from their awesome forward players, Leipzig's defence is the second best in the league having conceded just seven goals - one more than the Bavarians.

Standout performers

Many seem to forget that Joshua Kimmich, who has been capped 11 times by the German national team, was picked from Leipzig in 2015. The club also parades some incredible talents such as Timo Werner, who has scored five goals in 10 games, and Emil Forsberg with four strikes having played one game less. Others are midfielders Bernardo, Marcel Sabitzer and Diego Demme.
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 

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