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RB Leipzig chief determined to seal top-four Bundesliga finish

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Apr 2024

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RB Leipzig are determined to wrap up a top-four Bundesliga finish, despite fifth spot possibly earning a place in next season’s Champions League, the club’s chief business officer said on Thursday.

Leipzig, who host Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, are fourth on 59 points, two ahead of Dortmund with four games left in the season. A win would put the Saxony club firmly in the driving seat for a top-four finish.

The top four qualify automatically for the Champions League group stage, although Germany is likely to earn a fifth spot as one of the top two in UEFA’s coefficient table depending on the remaining results in European competition this season.

“That (potential fifth spot) involves a lot of data and statistics,” said Leipzig CBO Johann Plenge in a media call. “We are not spending too much time on this discussion.”

“This is not something we take too much into consideration. We have the ambition to be a top-four club and to be that you have to finish in at least fourth place,” he said.

Leipzig, who will go on a U.S. tour from July 28-Aug. 4 and will play Aston Villa in New Jersey, also competed in the Champions League this season, losing to Real Madrid 2-1 on aggregate in the round of 16.

“The match (against Dortmund) is extremely important. We are very focused and 100% confident we will give everything on the pitch,” Plenge said.

“I think we have a very good situation to finish the season as a top-four club.”

Plenge said for the new season the club planned to hold on to their top performers, unlike last year when several key players, including Josko Gvardiol, Dominik Szoboszlai, Christopher Nkunku and Konrad Laimer, left, forcing a big overhaul.

“We had a very intense transfer period last summer. We developed some great players [for] the Premier League. We want a less intense transfer period and to keep the players together,” Plenge said.

“Having them in our team next season is what we will do in the summer.”

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