Back-to-back defeats against Schalke and Lyon have left their mark on RB Leipzig’s aspiring side. Talk of a 'crisis' is premature though, and Julian Nagelsmann’s men will be keen to prove it against Bayer Leverkusen.
Having gone unbeaten in their opening seven games of the season, two straight defeats have seen RB Leipzig slip from the summit in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League. The results are being seen as a timely reality check for the high-flying side, but at present the message out of the club is that there's no cause for concern.
"We aren't sitting in the changing rooms shaking," said head coach Julian Nagelsmann before Saturday's clash with Bayer Leverkusen. "Things are going really well for us. The pressure is there and that's completely normal, but we're expecting to come away with a win against Bayer."
It was a confident remark from the 32-year-old, who has been on the defensive in light of back-to-back home defeats. While last weekend's 3-1 loss to Schalke was boiled down to a failed experiment with a four-man backline, the midweek setback against Lyon was lamented.
"We had two 1,000 per cent chances to score which forced our opponent to invest more in the game," said Nagelsmann. "We made two mistakes and were punished by a side that we limited to just one clear-cut chance from open play which came in the 91st minute, I think."
Head coach Julian Nagelsmann is confident Leipzig will produce a response to consecutive defeats when they travel to Leverkusen.
After the 2-0 loss Leipzig's head coach was asked during his press conference whether he would classify recent events as a "crisis of confidence" by a journalist in attendance. "You're a freelance journalist and are free to write what you want," replied Nagelsmann with a retort that carried a healthy dose of disbelief that the question was asked and a hint of disdain that he had to answer it.
Ever the perfectionist though, the Bundesliga's youngest head coach has already pinpointed the problems that went beyond Timo Werner's inability to finish one of the three golden opportunities in front of goal.
"We didn't put enough pressure on Lyon's back four," the 32-year-old said on Friday. "We were lacking the punch." That hasn't been as much of an issue on the domestic circuit with only Bayern München (19) and Borussia Dortmund (17) outscoring the side from Saxony (14).
On Saturday, they take on a Leverkusen side themselves looking to bounce back from a midweek loss to Juventus in a clash between two of the five teams a point adrift of league leaders Bayern.
"Leverkusen are in good form at the moment but we think we can get the win on Saturday and finish the double game week well."