Julian Nagelsmann

6 Reasons Why This Is RB Leipzig's Year to Win the Bundesliga

Since forming in 2009, RB Leipzig have achieved a lot

Four promotions in seven seasons saw the young club reach the Bundesliga in 2016 and if that wasn't enough, they only went and finished second in their debut season.

After finishing 6th in 2017, failing in Europe and losing a couple of key men, Leipzig bounced back last season to finish third - and they're now in a position where they could genuinely end up as title winners come May 2020.

Here's six reasons why it could happen...

1. Julian Nagelsmann

In the summer of 2018, we learned that Hoffenheim boss would be joining Leipzig at the start of this season, with the 32-year-old signing a contract at the Red Bull Arena until 2023.

After helping Hoffenheim avoid relegation in 2016 when he became the youngest Bundesliga manager in history at 28, Nagelsmann then guided Die Kraichgauer to their first-ever Champions League berth in 2017 and their maiden group stage in 2018.

His groundbreaking ideologies and top tactical prowess have helped him become one of the hottest managerial prospects in Europe.

With this Leipzig squad undoubtedly having more talent than all of Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim teams, you can expect the man once dubbed the 'baby Mourinho' to do great things with Die Roten Bullen over the coming seasons.

2. Their Defence Is Elite

Over the past couple of seasons, we've seen this Leipzig defence develop as one of the finest in Europe. In 2018/19, they conceded just 29 goals in 34 Bundesliga games and held the best defensive record in the league.

The performances of their three centre-backs; Willi Orban, Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate, had a lot to do with that.

Whilst Orban, the club captain, doesn't quite get the credit he deserves, Upamecano and Konate have been dubbed two of the most promising centre-halves in Europe. The German club were asking for £70m in the summer for Upamecano's services, with the continent's biggest teams sniffing around.

There's no reason why these two 20-year-old's can't be the future of France's defence and Leipzig will be looking to get the most out of them before Europe's elite come calling.

3. The Prolific Timo Werner

Timo Werner has been at the club ever since they gained promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016. Since then, the German hasn't stopped scoring goals for Die Roten Bullen.

55 goals in 96 Bundesliga appearances is a fine return and there's little doubt that he'll be crucial for Nagelsmann if they are to win the title this season.

Werner, who also has ten goals in 27 appearances for the national side, has thrived off Leipzig's style of play over the past couple of seasons - a style that involves Werner using his devastating pace to run off target man Yussuf Poulsen, who is superb at holding the ball up and releasing Werner down the channels.

Along with his deadly finishing ability, the 23-year-old also excels at bringing others into play, while he boasts 55 Bundesliga goals and 24 assists to his name. 

'Turbo Timo', as he was once called, has enjoyed a fine start to the season, scoring five in three games which includes a hat-trick against Monchengladbach last time out.

4. They Have Creators All Over the Pitch

Under Nagelsmann, we should see all the creative juices flowing out of this Leipzig side. 

Two of their key creators; Emil Forsberg and Marcel Sabitzer, look to be operating out wide from time-to-time in Nagelsmann's system, whether it be in a 3-4-3, 4-4-2 or 3-5-2.

After his breakout season in 2016/17, which saw him register 22 assists in 30 Bundesliga games, Emil Forsberg has struggled for consistency. In his last two seasons, Forsberg has 10 league assists, but he never really built on his incredible season in 2016/17. 

This season could see the Swede return to his absolute best, two assists and a goal in four games so far are promising signs.

Sabitzer, who will likely be Leipzig's Kemer Demirbay, has registered nine goals and assists in the past two seasons but started the season superbly against Union Berlin, notching up a hat-trick of assists as well as getting on the scoresheet himself.

This Leipzig side also a major threat from wing-back. Lukas Klostermann and Marcel Halstenberg love to overlap and get into the opposition's final third. Their surging runs on the outside allows the likes of Sabitzer and Forsberg to operate inside, causing opposing defences absolute nightmares.

5. Bayern Are at the Start of a New Era

Incredibly, Bayern were able to win the Bundesliga last season in Niko Kovac's debut season at the Allianz.

That was not a good Bayern Munich team - as shown in the Champions League - and although they strengthened in the transfer window, this is still a rebuilding side.

The exits of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in the summer signified an end of an era in Munich. If it wasn't last season that gave the likes of Dortmund and Leipzig the best chance to win the title in almost a decade, then it's this season.

Although they've strengthened defensively, they still lack a little bit of steel and physicality in midfield. Thiago and Joshua Kimmich seem to be favoured in midfield whilst the likes of Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso can come off the bench. Between them, is there enough talent defensively to protect Munich's back four, especially against the big teams?

Wingers Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Ivan Perisic are, of course, talented. But are they prime Robben and Ribery?

One thing's for sure, question marks are surrounding this Bayern squad.

6. They've Started The Season Brilliantly

The east German club were dealt a very tricky start to the season.

Their opener was at the newly promoted Union Berlin, who beat Dortmund on match day three, but in Nagelsmann's first competitive fixture for the club, Leipzig were able to win 4-0.

After that, Leipzig faced Frankfurt, followed by Monchengladbach before the break. Four Timo Werner goals later and Leipzig sat in top spot with a 100% record, two points clear of Bayern before the teams met on Saturday. They drew 1-1.

After seeing their opening performances, it's hard to argue against Leipzig being serious contenders for Bayern's crown.