Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig Match Preview | Bundesliga Odds & Picks (Mar. 3)
Matthias Hangst/Getty. Pictured: Sebastian Haller.
Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig Odds
Borussia Dortmund Odds
RB Leipzig Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-165 / +133)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-188 / +137)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Outside of matches that include Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig’s clash with Borussia Dortmund may be the most highly-anticipated matchup of the entire Bundesliga calendar.
Dortmund and Leipzig are the next-best two teams in the betting market power ratings. Both have come close to toppling Bayern in the Bundesliga in recent years but neither have successfully overtaken them. Dortmund enter Friday’s clash tied atop the table on 46 points with a potentially title deciding matchup looming at Bayern on April 1.
RB Leipzig are four points off the pace and still have away trips to both Bayern and Dortmund. The task is tougher for them to climb the table, but the underlying numbers suggest they’ve been better than Dortmund throughout the season.
Despite that, Dortmund enter this match with seven straight wins in the Bundesliga since returning from the World Cup break. They’ve won all nine matches played if you include the cup victories against Bochum and Chelsea.
Both of these teams are playing their best football right now, but Leipzig’s improved defense and Dortmund injuries will be major keys in slowing down a red-hot Dortmund attack.
Dortmund Playing Well Despite Injuries
Dortmund have been elite since returning from the World Cup break, but there are some significant injuries for Edin Terzić’s side. They lost Karim Adeyemi once again to injury and he’ll miss this match. He was producing excellent wide forward production with 0.51 xG + xA per 90 and had four goals and two assists in his last six matches for Dortmund.
Youssoufa Moukoko may only be 18, but he had nine goals + assists in 10 90s this season. He also was over the 0.5 xG + xA per 90 threshold. The strength of this Dortmund team is that while they no longer have Erling Haaland as the dominant striker and shot getter, they can make up for his production through strength in numbers. Moukoko and Adeyemi have had their spells of good form, and now it might be time for Sebastien Haller to do the same.
Haller will be expected to start in this match, alongside Julian Brandt and Marco Reus in the attacking front three. None of them have been in exactly sparking form for club as Adeyemi had been carrying this attack of late. Reus’ production has slipped at age 33 and the Dortmund attack might struggle to create consistent chances because of it.
Five of those eight wins against German teams came against the five-worst defenses in the Bundesliga. They benefitted from a red card against Freiburg’s five goal outburst. In the two other wins: Leverkusen and Mainz, Dortmund managed just eight shots per match.
RB Leipzig Stifling Opponents’ Attacks
Leipzig’s defensive abilities were on full display in their last two home matches against Bayern Munich and Manchester City. In terms of attacking firepower, those are the two best teams in the world and Leipzig held them to one goal scored each and two 2 xGA.
The defense hasn’t just been elite at home under Marco Rose, though. They’ve traveled well too, and allowed just 13.2 xGA in 11 away matches. That’s the fewest xGA per match on the road in the Bundesliga this season.
Rose’s system has successfully mastered the balance between an effective counter-press while also not allowing a high xG per shot. The defense allows the fifth-best xG per shot and ranks first in average shot distance allowed. Despite this, Leipzig are fifth in passes per defensive action and middle of the pack in pass completion rate allowed.
When Leipzig lose possession, they don’t overcommit and over-press to allow space in behind, but also successfully win the ball back enough to continue attacking and retain possession. They rank fourth in high turnovers forced and third in field tilt.
The attack will have the added benefit of Christopher Nkunku being available to start. He’s come off the bench in the last few weeks as he eased back from injury, but he remains Leipzig’s best attacker. Nkunku averages 0.80 xG + xA per 90, which is third-best in the Bundesliga behind Sadio Mané and Thomas Muller. Even if you take out penalties from that data, Nkunku is fifth in the league.
Dortmund vs RB Leipzig Pick
While Dortmund entersthis match with nine wins in nine post-World Cup matches, Leipzig’s form is elite as well with just one defeat in their last 22 matches across all competitions. This match is more of a can’t lose than a must win for both clubs in their attempts to keep in touch with Bayern.
Leipzig’s defense is the key unit that I expect to slow down Dortmund’s attack. With Haller and Reus out of form, there’s not a ton of shots to be had for this Dortmund side and you won’t get many clear cut chances against a Leipzig defense that forces you to shoot from distance.
The key number for the total is three and I wouldn’t bet the under at 2.75. But as long as the under 3 is -125 or better for me, that’s good enough value to bet against two red hot attacks as they face underrated defenses in a high-profile matchup.
Pick: Under 3 (-125 or better)
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