Leipzig to win the Red Bull derby
On Thursday at 5.55PM Red Bull Salzburg will host Red Bull Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena in the Europa league. Salzburg are already through and will want to rest some of the squad but Leipzig need to win. Combine this with the fact that their common owners (you guessed it - Red Bull) want Leipzig to win this match then we believe there could be value in backing them... however suspect the reasons may be.
The Austrian Bundesliga has been ruined by RB Salzburg's complete dominance. 15 rounds played and Salzburg have 13 wins, 2 defeats and 0 losses with a goal difference of 38-13. Because they are so superior in the Austrian Bundesliga, they now have their sights set on Europe and this season they are well on track with four wins in four games.
You can't say their group is easy either with the likes of Leipzig, Celtic and Rosenborg. Salzburg have scored 14 goals and conceded only five this season. There have been a number of impressive performances such as their 3-1 win at home to Celtic and 2-3 away in Leipzig.
There is an important factor to consider in their next game and that is that they have in practice already qualified for the next round. So, we can only assume that Red Bull owners will want Leipzig who are currently second, with the same points as Celtic to qualify with RB Salzburg.
The Austrian team also have an excellent central midfield partnership in Wolf and Samassekou. There are however a number of injuries that RB Salzburg have to content with, the most series of which is Haidara.
Red Bull's other (or first) team, Leipzig is a slick, attacking team that have had some minor issues away from home. They lost their last game against Wolfsburg 1-0. Regardless of this they are still a great team with quality throughout the squad. At home they are averaging 2.5 goals scored and 0-5 goals conceded this season, but away from home they are averaging 1.17 goals scored and 1.17 conceded.
These figures are a little misleading though considering they have met much tougher opposition away from home. Werner is still one of the Bundesliga's best attackers. Leipzig are still in the top half of the table when it comes to away matches, but they will need to raise their away game if they are to beat Salzburg in Austria.
There is a conflict of interest here though in the fact that they are owned by the same company, who will want both their teams to progress. This means that I won't be surprised if there are some drastic changes to RB Salzburg's starting eleven. As I mentioned there is real quality throughout the squad and no serious injuries to content with.
If you are just going by current form in the league, in Europe, at home and away then we can see that Salzburg are favourites for this match. On paper Leipzig are a better team, but have had some issues away from home. Now it's up to Leipzig to win this match as Salzburg will be resting many of their key players, not least to please their owners. I think Leipzig will go all out for the win and have a good chance of getting three points.
I will be betting on a Leipzig win at odds of 10/11 with Bethard.