FIFA 18: RB Leipzig Career Mode Guide, player ratings, tactics, formations & tips

RB Leipzig could upset the Bundesliga hierarchy and with the right signings are capable of pushing Bayern Munich all the way for the league title.

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RB Leipzig have had a conflicting start to life in the Bundesliga, with a significant financial backing stemming from their controversial ownership by Red Bull. They were able to finish second in their debut season in the German top flight, securing Champions League qualification. 

Ralph Hasenhuttl was able to keep the key stars of his squad together for the birth of the 17/18 season, fighting off multiple attempts for his key players.

So, with Naby Keita and Timo Werner leading the team forward and no public protests getting anywhere near your stadium, can you close the gap on Bayern Munich and lead a European charge on FIFA 18’s Career Mode? With a young squad embedded with hidden talent, RB Leipzig could be the challenge you’re looking for to redefine the Bundesliga.

Team Rating

RB Leipzig have been given a four-star rating on FIFA 18, stemming from their 78 overall. This breaks down into a 76 defensive rating, 80 midfield and 78 attacking rating.

Formation

Leipzig tend to play with a 4-2-2-2 formation in order to fit in all their key players whilst keeping the preferred option of two strikers up front. We’ve stuck with the system which has been a mainstay of their Bundesliga campaign, but a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-4-1-1 are also viable options with the talent available.

Peter Gulacsi is the resident number one for the East German side, with a back four consisting of Lukas Klostermann, Willi Orban, Dayot Upamecano and Marcel Halstenberg providing more than sufficient cover to deal with any threats you may face.

In front of the defence, you’ll find Leipzig talisman Naby Keita partnering Kevin Kampl as the two work as a perfect combination to move the ball between the defence and the attack. 

Bruma and Emil Forsberg feature as the two inverted wingers. The pair will work well as a balance of pace and precision, giving you the option to differentiate the style in which you choose to attack.

Up front you’ll find Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen. Werner is by far the best striker in the squad and with 91 pace you should have no issues getting in behind the opposition’s defence. Plus, a four-star weak foot gives you the option to swap the strikers’ positions, and have Werner cut in from the right to shoot. 

Poulsen offers the aerial threat between, coming in at six foot four, he gives you the option to play the ball long if necessary or whip the ball in from the wide areas and rise above the centre backs.

On the bench you should feature Yvon Mvogo, Ibrahima Konate, Bernardo, Marcel Sabitzer, Diego Demme, Ademola Lookman and Jean-Kevin Augustin.

Tactics

Leipzig boast a strong starting lineup and a well-balanced bench, but if you lose just one player from the matchday 18, problems can easily arise. You will need your tactics to be spot on so you don’t lose out on any of these players’ talents, whilst keeping everyone as fresh as possible.

Naby Keita (88 dribbling, 88 ball control) gives you the option to run with the ball forward whilst keeping Kevin Kampl (86 acceleration, 82 vision and 84 composure) as a deeper man to stop any potential counter attacks you may face and keeping the defence protected

Bruma (92 sprint speed) is the perfect option for driving the ball down the wings and taking on the full back with his four-star skill moves available. Emil Forsberg (84 short passing and 86 vision) is the perfect option if you’re looking to play a fast, short pass-and-move style as he’ll be able to find players in tight spaces.

With Leipzig, there are two main points of attack, both varying in key areas. Timo Werner (92 Sprint Speed) is the man to go to if you’re looking to play the ball in behind the defensive line and run in on goal due to his impressive pace. If you’re struggling against a well-organised defence, Yussuf Poulsen (82 jumping, 81 heading accuracy) offers the aerial threat to change your point of attack.

Training

Training remains a key feature of any Career Mode, allowing your players to grow under your watchful eyes and dictate what area you want them to improve in. The best thing to look for is your players with a high growth potential, so Philipp Kohn, Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate, Bruma and Jean-Kevin Augustin are ideal inclusions in your training plans.

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £46.4 million

Starting wage budget: £116,000 a week

Who should go

With Leipzig limited to a slightly smaller wage budget than preferred, it’s a very good idea to trim the fat and clear up some wages to build your squad further. Players such as Fabio Coltorti (OVR 68) and Niclas Stierlin (OVR 62, POT 76) won’t feature so it’s best to just send them on their way. Selling the pair should get you a combined sum of around £500,000 and fee up £30,000 a week in wages. 

Loans

Leipzig do have a big squad, with 31 players to choose from. To ensure that everyone has a beneficial season, you may want to consider loaning out some of your younger players. Plus, this will ensure they don’t lose morale throughout the season.

Kilian Senkbeil (OVR 60), Mert Yilmaz (OVR 58), Marc Dauter (OVR 60) and Dominic Minz (OVR 57) are all 18 years’ old and are highly unlikely to break into the squad based on their current ratings. None of these players have a potential of more than 72 however, so it is likely that you will sell them on next season. 

Who to sign

New transfer budget: £46.9 million

New wage budget: £146,000 a week

Backing up the midfield

Even though you have two great option in Kampl and Keita, it’s definitely worth buying one more star player so you can rotate the three and make sure they all stay fit and aren’t overworked. With league, cup and European games it’s easy to see where players could pick up injuries.

Hakim Ziyech is definitely a man you should be looking to acquire. Only 24 years of age with a potential of 85, the Moroccan is certainly a star player that could turn into a match-winner if nurtured correctly. Hakim can as a central or attacking midfielder, so he covers two key areas of the Leipzig system. 

His ability to find a key pass (88 vision, 86 short passing) makes him ideal for the Bundesliga. His release clause from Ajax sits at £29.9 million, so a bid around £24 million should do the trick. Ziyech’s wages of £14,000 a week will certainly need improvement, however. 

Another option to bolster the midfield would be Luis Alberto. The 24-year-old has found success in La Liga and has improved considerably in recent years. With both his weak foot and skill moves at four stars, he has the ability to play in any of the advanced midfield or attack roles and would be a boost to most sides when going forward. The Spaniard boats excellent passing stats (84 Long passing and 85 short passing) and is capable to find the runs of the forwards (86 vision).

Alternative options:

  • Angel Correa – Atletico Madrid, Age 22, OVR 80, POT 87, Cost: £36 million, Wages: £52,000
  • Leo Baptistao – Espanyol, Age 24, OVR 80, POT 83, Cost: £32 million, Wages: £32,000
  • Leander Dendoncker – Anderlecht, Age 22, OVR 78, POT 85, Cost: £16 million, Wages: £18,000
  • Federico Chiesa – Fiorentina, Age 19, OVR 77, POT 87, Cost: £20 million, Wages: £35,000
  • Jorrit Hendrix – PSV, Age 22, OVR 76, POT 82, Cost: £11 million, Wages: £13,000

Contracts

Five players will only have 12 months left on their contracts when you start the season. Kilian Senkbeil, Mert Yilmaz and Dominic Minz are all 18 and would benefit from loan experience, however. So, if you’re looking to keep these players, keep in mind that you may see them sought after for loans once you’ve secured their contracts.

It would be highly advised to give Elias Abouchabaka (OVR 63, POT 83) a new deal as the 17-year-old attacking midfielder has the potential to become a superstar, so think about him as a future prospect when negotiating a deal for the youngster.

Fabio Coltorti is the final man with a year left on his deal, so if you’re keen to sell him ensure you do before he is eligible to walk away for free next summer.

Managerial Objectives

Domestically, you are expected to finish mid-table in the Bundesliga and make the last 16 of the DFB Pokal. Considering the strength of the squad you have at your disposable, neither of these tasks should be hard for you to achieve. Realistically, RB Leipzig should be finishing in the top four without any trouble.

For brand exposure, you’re expected to increase season tickets holders by at least 10% of the grounds capacity. This also isn’t a particularly hard task. A good European performance (reaching the knockout stages) and securing European football for the next season should be more than enough to achieve this task.

In terms on continental success, you should be expecting to reach the knockout stages of the Champions Cup. This again shouldn’t be too hard, but if you’re unlucky enough to get a tough group, you may need some big European performances to pull through. 

Leipzig view youth development as a high priority, so be ready to put some faith in the kids. You’re expected to grow two youth academy players by at least ten overall points and play them in five matches.

You’re fortunate enough to have no financial objectives, so spend at your own will.

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Charge on with the Red Bulls

RB Leipzig definitely have the potential to establish themselves as a top side in the Bundesliga, but you must repeat last years success at a minimum if you want to maintain Leipzig as a top German side. There’s nothing stopping you from securing that top four place at the expense of someone like Schalke or Hoffenheim with the quality you have in the squad. 

Some of Europe’s elite may come for your key stars Timo Werner and Naby Keita early on in the transfer window, so securing deals for these stars should be a priority and could hold to the key to future succes.

Full RB Leipzig player ratings

Player

Age

Pos

Country

OVR

POT

Value

Wage

Goalkeepers

Peter Gulacsi

27

GK

Hungary

79

80

£8.8m

£47k

Yvon Mvogo

23

GK

Switzerland

75

81

£5.7m

£27k

Fabio Coltorti

36

GK

Switzerland

68

68

£106k

£13k

Philipp Kohn

19

GK

Switzerland

63

81

£572k

£3k

Defenders

Willi Orban

24

CB

Germany

80

82

£13.6m

£50k

Marcel Halstenberg

25

LB

Germany

78

79

£8.8m

£46k

Dayot Upamecano

18

CB

France

76

88

£9.7m

£25k

Lukas Klostermann

21

RB
LB

Germany

75

83

£7.5m

£31k

Bernardo

22

RB

Brazilian

74

81

£5.7m

£35k

Benno Schmitz

22

RB

LB

CDM

Germany

70

73

£1.6m

£25k

Ibrahima Konate

18

CB

France

69

83

£1.7m

£13k

Kilian Senkbeil

18

CB
RB

Germany

60

72

£264k

£3k

Dominic Minz

18

CB

Germany

57

68

£123k

£3k

Midfielders

Naby Keita

22

CM
CDM
CAM

Guinea

83

88

£29.9m

£60k

Kevin Kampl

26

CM
CAM

Slovenia

82

83

£22.4m

£69k

Emil Forsberg

25

CAM
LM

Sweden

82

84

£23.8m

£66k

Marcel Sabitzer

23

CAM
ST

Austria

81

84

£19.8m

£55k

Bruma

22

LM
CAM

Portugal

80

85

£17.6m

£55k

Diego Demme

25

CDM
CM

Germany

79

81

£11.4m

£55k

Stefan Ilsanker

28

CDM

CB
RB

Austria

75

75

£4.8m

£43k

Konrad Laimer

20

CM
RB

Austria

73

81

£5.3m

£35k

Dominik Kaiser

28

CAM
CM
RM

Germany

72

72

£2.8m

£33k

Ademola Lookman

19

LM
LW
ST

England

66

84

On Loan

£12k

Elias Abouchabaka

17

CAM

Germany

63

83

£638k

£5k

Niclas Stierlin

17

CDM
CB

Germany

62

76

£484k

£4k

Marc Dauter

18

CDM

Germany

60

70

£238k

£3k

Mert Yilmaz

18

RM
RB

Germany

58

70

£185k

£4k

Forwards

Timo Werner

21

ST

Germany

83

87

£30.4m

£60k

Yussuf Poulsen

23

ST

Denmark

77

83

£19.8m

£51k

Jean-Kevin Augustin

20

ST RW

France

75

85

£9.7m

£39k

How is your Career Mode going? Let us know in the comments section below.

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