UEFA Champions League preview: RB Leipzig vs Istanbul Basaksehir

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RB Leipzig will lock horns with Super Lig club Istanbul Basaksehir in their first group stage game of Champions League.

Stadium: Red Bull Arena Leipzig

Group H: Basaksehir, Leipzig, Manchester United, PSG

Key Statistics

  • This will be the first competitive fixture between Leipzig and Basaksehir in European competitions.
  • Basaksehir will play their first Champions League campaign, having reached the playoff rounds in 2017/18 season.
  • Leipzig are not having the best of records against Turkish oppositions, with their last two meetings against Besiktas ending in defeats during the 17/18 group stage.

RB Leipzig

Leipzig had an unforgettable UCL campaign last season, reaching the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

Julian Naglesmann’s Leipzig continues to be adventurous as they are currently first in Bundesliga with three wins in four games. Their recent fixture was against Augsburg in which they won 2-0 after goals from Angelino and Yussuf Poulsen.

Injured players: Konrad Laimer, Fabrice Hartmann

RB Leipzig – Possible line-up:

Gulacsi; Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Mukiele, Kampl, Adams, Angeliño; Olmo, Forsberg; Poulsen

Unavailable players

Sabitzer (thigh), Laimer (knee), Klostermann (knee), Hartmann (knee), Haidara (illness)

It is obviously our aim to make it through the group stage. That is the first step, and it is a step-by-step process. We are capable of finishing as one of the top two, even though this group is very strong [with Paris and Manchester United the other contenders].

Julian Nagelsmann, Leipzig coach

Istanbul Basaksehir

Basaksehir won their first-ever Super Lig title last season, but they look a completely different side this season, losing three out of five games.

However, their first win of the league came against Trabzonspor on Saturday, with Irfan Kahveci and Edin Visca finding the scoresheet.

Last season, Basaksehir reached the round of 16 of Europa League before losing to FC Copenhagen.

Istanbul Basaksehir – Possible line-up

Mert Günok; Rafael, Skrtel, Epureanu, Bolingoli; İrfan Kahveci, Mahmut Tekdemir, Aleksić, Visća; Crivelli, Demba Ba

Unavailable players

Azubuike (unspecified), Chadli (unspecified), Kaldırım (unspecified)

As Başakşehir, we are happy to play in the Champions League for the first time. We know it will be a very difficult match. We will do the best we can do physically, mentally and tactically against Leipzig, one of the most fit teams in Europe.

Okan Buruk, İstanbul Başakşehir coach