RB Leipzig: Scouting report on Celtic's next Europa League opponents

RB Leipzig are on three points in Europa League Group B after beating Rosenborg and losing to Salzburg
RB Leipzig are on three points in Europa League Group B after beating Rosenborg and losing to Salzburg
Europa League: RB Leipzig v Celtic
Venue: Red Bull Arena, Date: Thursday, 25 October Kick-off: 17:55 BST
Coverage: Listen live on Radio Scotland & online; text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

Celtic will face Germany's most controversial club on their latest Europa League assignment.

RB Leipzig were formed less than a decade ago by Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz, who also happens to run energy drink giants Red Bull.

The prefix in the club's title officially stands for RasenBallsport but is more than a nod to the parent company, an apparent ownership loophole which has upset many German football fans.

But most of the ire from rival supporters stems from the substantial financial backing that enabled Leipzig to accelerate from the fifth tier to the Bundesliga and into the Champions League.

What is Leipzig's form like?

Thursday's hosts had been in excellent form before a weekend stalemate away to Augsburg that saw them drop from second in the Bundesliga to fifth.

It was a game of few chances and came a week after they scored six at home against Nuremberg - the last of a run of four successive wins.

Ralf Rangnick's side's only home defeat this season came in their Europa League group opener, when they recovered from 2-0 down only to lose 3-2 to Salzburg.

Last season, they struggled to recapture the form of their maiden Bundesliga campaign, beating a dominant Bayern Munich one week and shipping four and five goals to Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim at home in the weeks than followed.

Their Champions League debut came after just one season in the top tier, finishing third in a group including Porto and Monaco and going on to the quarter-finals of the Europa League before losing to eventual runners-up Marseille.

Ominously for Celtic, they knocked out Italian giants Napoli and Zenit St Petersburg, who themselves accounted for the Scottish champions.

Who are the players to watch?

RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano
Teenage defender Dayot Upamecano has been linked with a move to Barcelona

Dayot Upamecano: A France Under-21 team-mate of Celtic's Olivier Ntcham, the centre-half was courted by Manchester United before swapping Salzburg for Leipzig. Barcelona are the latest club to be linked with the 19-year-old.

Marcel Sabitzer: The Austrian midfielder starred at Euro 2016 and faced Celtic two years previously with Salzburg. He scored a double in a recent 6-0 victory over Nuremberg.

Jean-Kevin Augustin: Another that Ntcham will know well from Under-21 duty with France. With Swedish World Cup star Emil Forsberg injured, Augustin, Yussuf Poulsen, Matheus Cunha and Timo Werner have shared forward duties so far this season. Augustin scored in the win over Rosenberg on match-day two.

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