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What realities awaits RB Leipzig in the Champions League next season?

RasenBallsport Leipzig will play in the UEFA Champions League next season! In 2013, they were hanging on in the fourth tier of German football, next season they will play among Europe’s elites.
They might not win the Bundesliga this season, but they’ll sure have something big to celebrate when the season ends. However, some stark realities await RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

When RB Leipzig demolished Freiburg 4-nil in the Bundesliga over the weekend, the club achieved something better than just a convincing home victory. They had mathematically secured qualification for the 2017/2018 Champions League. RB Leipzig now needs only six points from their last five games to automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage.

Before 2009, RB Leipzig was absolutely non-existent. The Red Bull company had toyed with the idea of creating and owning a football club that can compete favorably in German football. Plans of taking over clubs such as FC Sachsen Leipzig, Fortuna Düsseldorf, and FC St. Pauli hit the rocks as supporters protested wildly over a purported change of club name, colors, crest etc.

However, in 2009, Red Bull found exactly the club they were looking for, in SSV Markranstädt. Within months, the takeover was complete and RB Leipzig was born. They then competed in the German Oberliga. Today, RB Leipzig is in contention for the German Bundesliga shield. Last season, they finished second in the Bundesliga 2, they could easily repeat the feat this season if they can keep extending their current four-game winning streak.

Next season, RB Leipzig in the Champions League will be one of the greenhorns, just like Leicester City this season. Here’s an analytical assessment of some realities that awaits them in Europe next term.

1. Fixture congestion

Sadly for RB Leipzig, they got eliminated in the first round of the German Cup by Dynamo Dresden. Whether that loss inspired them to do better in the Bundesliga, we can’t ascertain, but it did significantly reduce their fixture congestion. The fact that they weren’t involved in any European competition also made their schedule even more bearable. Next season, all that will change as RB Leipzig will represent Germany in the Champions League.

With the Champions League comes more matches to play, more nights of tough action to prepare for and the possibility of a fixture pile up. To avoid the pitfall of fatigue, Leipzig’s best bet is to shop for reinforcement in the summer.

2. More experienced opponents

RB Leipzig has relied heavily on their pace, crisp passing and direct play as a means of overwhelming and breaking down their opponents. If they can keep the likes of Emil Forsberg, Naby Keita, and Willi Orban; that same system could work for RB Leipzig in the Champions League. However, Leipzig should expect nothing less than a baptism of fire when they surface in Europe next term.

The Champions League is made up top teams from highly competitive divisions across Europe. Some of these teams have plenty Champions League experience and would be a tougher nut to crack than what they’ve experienced in the Bundesliga.

3. An early exit for RB Leipzig in the Champions League

One reality that could await RB Leipzig in the Champions League is an early knockout. With their poor Champions League experience and the fact that they’ll be playing foreign teams who are more seasoned in the competition, Leipzig could easily find themselves struggling to navigate the first round.

The Red Bull-sponsored team could suffer the same fate, Tottenham, Manchester City, Everton and other teams who struggle to make any meaningful impact on their first attempt at the Champions League. Regardless, they can still defy all odds and make it beyond the Champions League group stage; they could even reach the quarter finals like Leicester City, who knows?

4. Longer travels

Being in the Champions League brings about travels, far away from the Red Bull Arena; perhaps to England, maybe to Spain or even Russia. These long trips might cause travel fatigue and this can have a significant effect on their performance on the pitch.

Making long trips from one end of Europe to the other is what playing in the Champions League entails. RB Leipzig must be ready to make those long or short trips around the continent. The prospect should sound interesting for the Leipzig team, at least for now.

With five more games left to play for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga; they need to win two of those to secure a spot in the Champions League group stage next season. What an amazing achievement.

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

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