Bundesliga 2019/20: RB Leipzig vs Koln - tactical analysis

With Achim Beierlorzer getting the axe, a difficult away trip to RB Leipzig awaited new Köln manager Markus Gisdol. Whilst the away team were hoping for an unlikely away win to kickstart their season, Leipzig knew they needed a win to keep the pressure on Borussia Mönchengladbach at the top of the table.

If Köln fans were hoping to see an immediate turn of fortunes they were to be disappointed as Leipzig ran out as 4-1 winners in a very one-sided affair.

This tactical analysis highlights the approach both managers took in Saturday’s Bundesliga fixture.


Leipzig Head Coach Julian Nagelsmann brought in a few changes from his side’s 4-2 win against Hertha Berlin before the international break. Nordi Mukiele, and Yussuf Poulsen missed out due to injuries so a reshuffle of personnel and formation saw Leipzig field a 4-4-1-1, with Lukas Klostermann switching from left-back to right-back, and Marcel Halstenberg coming in at left-back. Christopher Nkunku played behind Timo Werner in attack.

Gisdol fielded a 4-1-4-1, mirroring Leipzig’s albeit with a defensive midfielder instead of a number 10. Birger Verstraete and Marco Höger had seen opportunities limited under Beierlorzer and were brought in immediately by Gisdol to play in the centre of midfield. Anthony Modeste has struggled for goalscoring form this year but was preferred up front to Simon Terodde.

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