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Hamburger SV vs RB Leipzig – Saturday 19:30BT/20:30CET – Volksparkstadion, Hamburg.

Hamburger SV vs RB Leipzig will take place at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg. (Photo by Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Hamburger SV vs RB Leipzig will take place at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg. (Photo by Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/Getty Images)

It is hard to believe—Hamburg are actually above Leipzig in the standings ahead of matchday 3. Granted it is still early in the season, but der HSV has managed two wins out of the first two games and now sits in the third spot just behind Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München.

RB Leipzig in the meantime started the season with a shocking defeat to FC Schalke 04. Outplayed and outmanoeuvred it was one of the poorer performances since die Roten Bullen have been promoted last season. Even worse they carried that poor form into their second game on matchday 2 when they were outplayed by SC Freiburg in the first half.

It was only in the second half that Leipzig finally put the pedal to the metal scoring four unanswered goals to win the match 4-1. It was an excellent Leipzig performance, and there is no doubt Hamburg need to be worried should Leipzig play the same way for the full 90 minutes at the Volksparkstadion on Friday as they did for the second 45 minutes against Freiburg.

Both sides face some selection headaches. Hamburg will likely have to play 18-year-old Rick van Drongelen as a centre-back. The 18-year-old was a revelation on matchday 1 and 2 playing out left, but Mergim Mavraj suspension will mean that Hamburg are short staffed on the centre-back position forcing HSV head coach to move van Drongelen to the centre. In his stead, it is expected that Hamburg will play Brazilian Douglas Santos out wide. The Brazilian was supposed to be sold before transfer deadline day—a move to PSV Eindhoven, however, fell through.

Leipzig in the meantime will be without Yussuf Poulsen. Jean-Kévin Augustin replaced the Danish striker on matchday 2. Augustin was, however, involved in a small scandal while on duty with France’s U-21 after being sent home early for complaining about his substitution. It will be interesting to see how RB Leipzig head coach will react to Augustin’s suspension from the French national team. Nominally Augustin would be one of two strikers to start on matchday 3, but Hasenhüttl could theoretically replace Augustin with Bruma, who was among the scores against Freiburg.

Hamburger SV vs RB Leipzig – Player to look out for:

Bobby Wood #7 – Hamburger SV

On Tuesday night Bobby Wood rescued a late point for the United States national team in Honduras. The Hamburg striker was brought on late by USA head coach Bruce Arena and then equalised the score for the US with just minutes to go. The goal could become vital for the USA as the North Americans are still looking to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. Wood in the meantime has gotten used to last grasp efforts. Playing for Hamburg the native of Hawaii has become somewhat of a lifeline. A fast and strong striker Wood scored five goals in 28 games for Hamburg last season and while those numbers are not hugely impressive Wood has demonstrated qualities that have become invaluable for a side that is looking to play a season without relegation worries.

Bobby Wood is the Hamburger SV player to watch. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bobby Wood is the Hamburger SV player to watch. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Timo Werner #11 – RB Leipzig 

Timo Werner was once again on fire for Germany on matchday 8 of UEFA World Cup qualifying. The 21-year-old striker scored two goals against Norway and was perhaps the best player in Germany’s 6-0 victory over the Scandinavians. Werner has now scored six goals in eight games for die Mannschaft continuing his good from last season where he scored 21 goals in 31 games for Leipzig and then scored four goals at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup to win the Golden Boot. Those are impressive numbers for a striker, who is still only 21-years old, and it is somewhat surprising that in a time where Barcelona spent €148 million for Ousmane Dembélé—the ninth best scorer in the Bundesliga last season—Werner has not been the talking point of a transfer to one of Europe’s top clubs.

Timo Werner won the Golden Boot at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and was Leipzig's top scorer last season. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Timo Werner won the Golden Boot at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and was Leipzig’s top scorer last season. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Hamburger SV vs RB Leipzig – Match Stats

  • This will be the third match between the two sides.
  • Hamburg’s record against RB Leipzig is W1 D0 L1.
  • Hamburg lost last season’s home game 0-4.
  • Leipzig head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl’s record against Hamburg is W1 D1 L2.
  • Hamburg head coach Markus Gisdol oversaw HSV’s 3-0 win against Leipzig on matchday 20 in what has been his only coaching experience against die Roten Bullen.

Prediction: Hamburger SV vs RB Leipzig – 0-2 

Hamburger SV RB Leipzig – Possible Lineups

Hamburger SV

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Mathenia – Douglas Santos, van Drongelen, Papadopoulos, Diekmeier – Walace, Ekdal – Kostić, Holtby, Hahn – Wood

Coach: Markus Gisdol

RB Leipzig

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Gulasci – Halstenberg, Orban, Upamecano, Klostermann – Keïta, Demme – Forsberg, Sabitzer – Werner, Augustin

Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl

https://www.patreon.com/futbolgrad

Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada.  Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.

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