It’s always an exciting week in the European football calendar: the return of the UEFA Champions League. Tomorrow evening, Group G gets underway as Swiss champions BSC Young Boys host RB Leipzig.
Marco Rose’s Leipzig are heavily fancied to secure an opening matchday victory in Bern. Despite a whole host of departures in the summer, you wouldn’t think the Saxons had lost what was considered the core of their starting eleven from last season.
Despite losing their opening Bundesliga game against Bayer Leverkusen, Leipzig have registered three consecutive wins on the bounce, scoring 11 times and conceding just once.
New arrivals Xavi Simons and Loïs Openda have hit the ground running, scoring three goals in four Bundesliga matches. Openda is linking up well with his new teammates, having also assisted four times. Anticipate both players to start in Switzerland on Tuesday evening and having an important role should Leipzig secure all three points.
Having missed out on the Champions League last season, Young Boys secured their group stage place this year, having beaten Israel’s Maccabi Haifa over two legs.
Their domestic form certainly gives hope for the home side. Currently unbeaten in all competitions, Young Boys also boast keeping five consecutive clean sheets. While this indicates some defensive solidarity, the boys from Bern are used to dominating the ball.
Against Leipzig, Raphael Wicky’s side will certainly have much less possession than they’re used to. Their backline will be tested against a better-quality opponent on Tuesday, but with morale and confidence high, Young Boys may be able to stay in the game.
Leipzig will be looking to get off the mark straight away in a group consisting of Manchester City and Red Star Belgrade. They and the current England champions will be expected to get out of this group. However, Belgrade and Manchester offer tricky away ties. Marco Rose will not want to play catch-up straight after the first game.
GGFN | Jamie Allen