Rasenballsport Leipzig, founded in 2009 are arguably the most divisive club in the Bundesliga.
The club has risen from the Oberliga to the Bundesliga in just eight seasons, buying successes all the way thanks to the massive amounts of funds Red Bull has invested.
The club sits 2nd on the league table, 3 points behind almighty Bayern Munich. But can the underdogs become the German Leicester City?
The Red Bulls, managed by the enigmatic Ralph Hasenhüttl started this season in red-hot form, unbeaten in their first 13 games. Recent defeats to Ingolstadt 04 and FC Bayern have halted their upward journey on the points table, but entire league is now wary of the newcomers.
RB Leipzig’s style of play this season has been impressive to all but the most cynical of pundits. Boasting an average age of 23-, Ralph Hasenhüttl has assembled a well-drilled team with high energy pressing, combined with lots of maturity and discipline. The team has conceded 15 goals in 16 games, an average of less than a goal a game.
One major factor favouring the underdogs in this unlikely title race is that they are under no pressure to deliver. Nobody expected them to do anything noteworthy this season, nor to be three points off the top at this time in the campaign.
FC Bayern on the other hand, are expected to win the title every season, and the pressure going into the later stages will be firmly on the Bavarians.
In recent seasons, Bayern Munich have been ahead by mid-March, and if RB Leipzig can manage to keep pace with Allianz Area outfit till mid-April, it will put the title favourites in a position they are not used to be in, cranking up the pressure.
Going into the final stages of the season, fatigue and injuries shouldn’t be a concern for the Red Bulls as they are competing on only the league front, having been dumped out of the German Cup at the very first hurdle.
FC Bayern will be expected to get to the latter stages of both the Champions League and the DFB Pokal. More games mean a higher chance of fatigue and niggling injuries.
To get to these lofty heights this season, the entire playing personnel at Leipzig have had to pull their weight. Timo Werner, Emil Forsberg, Naby Keita, Youssef Poulsen and Olivier Burke have been especially influential in helping their team move up the table.
But the January transfer window might be where Leipzig’s lack of an identity pays off. Bayern Munich are traditionally reluctant to buy players in January because they believe it offers short term solutions and little value for money.
RB Leipzig, on the other hand, can afford to go into the market and buy the players they need to push the title chase all the way to the wire. There are no guarantees the team will be able to replicate this sort of performance next season so short-term solutions might be exactly what the team requires.
Ultimately, a title-winning campaign might be far fetched for RB Leipzig this season.
The relatively young age of their squad coupled with the negativity from the media could see them falter in the final months.
But as Leicester City proved in 2016, and Montpellier in 2012, you’re never too small a team to win the league.