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RB Leipzig vs Man City – Analysis, Prediction, Team News

Wednesday 22nd February 2023
20:00 GMT
Red Bull Arena

As part of our Champions League predictions, we examine Man City’s trip to the Red Bull Arena. City are chasing their first CL title, but RB Leipzig could prove to be tough opponents. Who will prevail? Read on with our RB Leipzig vs Man City Prediction.

RB Leipzig


4-0 (A)

Real Madrid

3-2 (H)


2-0 (A)


3-1 (H)

Real Madrid

2-0 (A)

Man City


3-1 (H)


0-0 (A)

FC Copenhagen

0-0 (A)

FC Copenhagen

5-0 (A)


2-1 (H)

RB Leipzig vs Man City Match Preview

RB Leipzig come into this round of 16 match against Premier League champions Manchester City in mixed form since the World Cup restart/Bundesliga winter break. The Germans earned a superb 1-1 draw against Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich – their first positive result against the Bundesliga champions in five attempts. A 6-1 victory over struggling Schalke and wins over Stuttgart in the league and Hoffenheim in the DFB Pokal saw Leipzig move into a title race which now involves six teams largely owing to Bayern Munich’s domestic inconsistency this season.

A 0-0 draw against FC Koln and a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Union Berlin followed, with RB Leipzig registering less than 1 xG in both matches. A return to form and a more convincing display in a 3-0 victory over Wolfsburg will give them hope for Wednesday night’s clash. As will the return of the goalscoring attacking midfielder Christopher Nkunku following a lengthy layoff which caused the French international to miss the World Cup in Qatar.

Leipzig qualified comfortably from a relatively easy Group F with Shakhtar who were shorn of home advantage owing to the war with Russia, and Celtic who were poor throughout the group stage. Following a poor start to their Champions League campaign with a 4-1 home defeat to Shakhtar and a 2-0 away defeat to Real Madrid, RB Leipzig proceeded to earn 12 points from 12 to qualify six points ahead of Shakhtar. A 4-0 win against the Donetsk side and a 3-2 home victory against Real Madrid were among the highlights for Marco Rose’s men.

Despite the widespread perception of Man City’s struggle for their best tactical approach following the signing of Erling Haaland and lately the departure of Joao Cancelo, City find themselves within touching distance of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table following a 3-1 victory over the north London side. City still find themselves in second place over the last 10 matches in the Premier League on 20 points, level with Brentford and Arsenal, so any talk of a crisis at the Manchester club is rather overblown.

Much of this is due to the fact that City haven’t always reached the lofty standards they have set themselves. The booing at halftime in their match against Spurs at 2-1 down is perhaps a reflection of heightened expectations rather than an inexorable decline. For all the praise that Arsenal have rightly received from the media, pundits and fans alike for their unexpected title challenge, the two Manchester clubs are now right back in touch and within striking distance.

In the Champions League, City were never in danger of failing to progress from Group G. A transfer-depleted Sevilla side posed very little threat to either Dortmund or City, and as such Pep Guardiola’s men finished five points clear of the German side and nine points ahead of Sevilla. Conceding just twice, once at home to Dortmund and once at home to Sevilla, City managed to battle back on both occasions to earn 2-1 and 3-1 victories respectively. This season has been dominated by talk of City’s desperation to finally win the Champions League, and they’re the outright favourites with most bookmakers.

Team News

Injuries and Suspensions

RB Leipzig:

Might Not Play:

Will Not Play: Diallo, Gulacsi, Olmo

Man City:

Might Not Play:

Will Not Play: Stones

RB Leipzig vs Man City Lineups (Predicted)

RB Leipzig (4-2-3-1): Blaswich; Raum, Gvardiol, Orban, Klostermann; Schlager, Haidara; Werner, Nkunku, Szoboszlai; Andre Silva

Man City (3-3-3-1): Ederson; Ake, Laporte, Dias; Silva, Gundogan, Rodri; Grealish, De Bruyne, Mahrez; Haaland

RB Leipzig vs Man City Lineup
Man City vs RB Leipzig Lineup

RB Leipzig vs Man City Analysis

City’s Quest for Control, Again

While City progressed comfortably in the Champions League group stages, and sit just two points behind Arsenal in the Premier League, albeit having played an extra match, they’re not as ball-dominant as they used to be. Without going on about Erling Haaland and the sacrifices made to integrate the Norwegian as is ubiquitous in the media this season, City are searching for ways to keep the prolific striker in the team while regaining the level of control which was responsible for keeping the opposition at arm’s length.

While conceding 24 goals in 24 league matches isn’t too bad for a team with title ambitions, it’s not brilliant either. To illustrate the point, City conceded 26 times last season in the Premier League. A core principle of City’s play under Guardiola is that if you have possession of the ball in the opposition half and can stop transitions, it’s incredibly difficult for the opposition to hurt you. By sacrificing some of the control they previously had by integrating Haaland. The big Norwegian is exceptional off the ball and when running towards goal, also sometimes at improvisation in the box but he’s clearly not the most proficient with his involvement in the build-up.

Following the departure of Cancelo, what we’ve seen from Pep over the last few games is a furtherance of Total Football and a nod to positionless basketball schemes. We can see that except for Laporte as the defensive rock, Ake, Dias, and Bernardo Silva will be required to provide width or to play in between the middle and the flanks as necessary. This can, in effect, provide more passing options for players in possession, and help City to retain a measure of control while retaining the threat of Haaland.

RB Leipzig Are Dangerous on the Break

We expect that RB Leipzig will line up with two defensive midfielders and will look to break quickly in order to release their dangerous and pacey attacking quarter of Nkunku, Andre Silva, Szoboszlai and Werner. While this isn’t an original point that we’re making – most teams try to play City on the break and if they don’t, they’ll get caught out themselves (for reference see the Arsenal match) and it really does represent the best chance of getting a result against a Guardiola team as well-resourced as this one.

Leipzig can take heart from the fact that City have looked sluggish in some matches in the final third. The obvious starting point for this is the weekend’s game against Nottingham Forest, but also the away match against Spurs and their away match against Manchester United where they failed to turn their second-half pressure into further opportunities after taking the lead.

A 2-0 EFL Cup defeat to relegation-threatened Southampton, a 1-1 home draw with Everton who are languishing in the relegation zone and a 2-1 home defeat to Brentford are also indications that by staying compact and breaking rapidly, City can be put under pressure in ways they were better at dealing with last season. While Man City are by no means a team in terrible form, they’ve lost the air of invincibility they had.

Our Prediction

We feel we’re going to see a reworked City being able to retain possession for long periods against an RB Leipzig team who will be happy to sit in, keep their shape and break rapidly when the opportunity allows. While this approach may bring dividends for City in the long term, if they line up how we think they will line up and continue to do so, it’ll perhaps take a few matches before we see the fruits of this brave new approach.

Leipzig can, and should, play this game more reactively than perhaps they are used to because quite simply it has worked against City at various points this season. City’s match against Brentford is a prime example of how Brentford were able to almost shrug off long passages of City’s possession-based game while breaking quickly and looking to hurt the Champions at every opportunity. In no way could that be considered a smash-and-grab victory. We envisage a draw here, which both sides will be relatively pleased with.

RB Leipzig 1-1 Man City

RB Leipzig vs Man City Betting Tip – Draw Odds:


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