Young Boys vs RB Leipzig Odds, Predictions | Expert Champions League Picks
Christof Stache/Getty. Pictured: Timo Werner.
Young Boys vs RB Leipzig Odds
|Young Boys Odds||+375|
|RB Leipzig Odds||-163|
|Over / Under|
-163 / +130
RB Leipzig start their Champions League campaign when they travel to Switzerland to take on Young Boys in match week 1.
Young Boys were the Champions of the Swiss Super League last season and qualified for the Champions League by taking out Maccabi Haifa in the final round of qualification. This is the third time Young Boys have been in the Champions League and have pulled off home historic upsets over both Juventus and Manchester United for their only two wins.
RB Leipzig have had a busy summer with a lot of key players leaving the club along with a lot young talented signings coming in. They are off and running in the Bundesliga, winning three matches in a row over Stuttgart, Union Berlin and Augsburg by a combined 11 to 1. Leipzig have a date with Manchester City next in the Champions League, so it's vital that they come away from Switzerland with three points.
Here's my Young Boys vs RB Leipzig pick.
This is a much different Young Boys team than the one we saw two years ago that beat Manchester United at home. American Tony Wagner is no longer the manager and a lot of their best players from that team like Jordan Pefok have moved onto bigger clubs. This version of Young Boys has the lowest squad transfer value of anyone in the Champions League field at 56.5 million, per transfermarkt.com.
Under former Chicago Fire manager Raphaël Wicky, Young Boys have a set up that does give them a chance in the Champions League. They play out of a 4-4-2 diamond, which is designed to clog up the middle of the pitch and make it difficult for opponents to create overloads there. The problem with this shape is that because it's now with the wide midfielders playing closer towards the middle of the pitch, it puts a reliance on the fullbacks to defend 1 v 1 out wide.
You can get away with that playing in the Swiss Super League or against Maccabi Haifa, but you certainly cannot get away with that going up against Manchester City or RB Leipzig given the quality of wingers they have.
Their 4-4-2 diamond is designed to play in transition and is actually a similar formation that Ole Gunnar Solskjær used to great success with Manchester United for a very long time. Young Boys did concede 1.40 xG per 90 minutes in the Swiss Super League last season, which is not a good sign going up against RB Leipzig the way they've been cooking offensively.
After an opening weekend loss to Leverkusen, Marco Rose has his RB Leipzig team playing at an extremely high level as they enter the Champions League.
The main question with RB Leipzig going into this season is have they gotten better or worse with their summer transfer activity? Losing arguably their three most important players in Christopher Nkuku, Dominik Szoboszlai and Josko Gvardiol is massive, but Leipzig retooled with Lois Openda (Lens), Xavi Simons (PSV) and Benjamin Sesko (RB Salzburg) in their attack, so there isn’t going to be much of a drop off.
The biggest loss for RB Leipzig was Gvardiol. He’s a world class defender and was the centerpiece around RB Leipzig’s build up play. They signed Castello Lukeba from Lyon, who is a promising young talent, but the Leipzig defense will take a step back from allowing 0.86 npxG last season under Rose.
Rose has used a lot of different formations throughout his time at RB Leipzig, but this season he has opted for a narrow 4-2-2-2 that allows them to create overloads in the middle of the pitch against opponents who want to play central low blocks against them. They came out firing against Augsburg over the weekend, who were playing a 5-2-2-1 out of possession trying to make it difficult to play through the middle of the pitch.
Leipzig scored two early goals by finding space in the middle of the pitch against a team that wanted to prevent that. Young Boys are going to play narrow, but Leipzig possess the talent and quality to maintain those overloads centrally or win 1 v 1 battles in wide areas with their fullbacks.
Young Boys vs RB Leipzig
Betting Pick & Prediction
The Red Bull way is to have an identity of quick transition attacking with intense counter-pressing. Rose has a squad that can do just that even if they've lost three of their most important players.
Most importantly, this Young Boys side is the least talented team in the Champions League field and hasn't played anyone to the caliber of RB Leipzig in two years.
Additionally, Young Boys' diamond 4-4-2 out possession may work against teams in the Swiss Super League, but against an RB Leipzig team that is set up to overload the center of the pitch, I have a hard time seeing them being able to defend for all 90 minutes.
So, I like the value on RB Leipzig on the spread at -1.5 at +143.