RasenBallsport Leipzig, more commonly known as Red Bull Leipzig, continue to take the German Bundesliga by storm. Friday night’s 3-2 victory away at Bayer Leverkusen was their fifth league win in a row and took them three points clear of Bayern Munich ahead of their clash with Borussia Dortmund today.

A hard earned victory

It was a hard-earned victory at Leverkusen, who defeated Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in the Champions League only a few weeks ago. Leipzig was behind after less than a minute and trailed 2-1 with 25 minutes remaining, but goals from Emil Forsberg and Willi Orban led them to a fifth league win in succession.

Three Bundesliga teams remain unbeaten this season, namely Leipzig, Bayern and Hoffenheim. While Bayern’s ten-game undefeated start is hardly a surprise given their star-studded squad, Leipzig, and Hoffenheim has shocked many with their excellent form.

Hoffenheim, managed by 29-year-old Julian Nagelsmann, finished last season just above the relegation zone having been seven points from safety in February. But their rapid rise pales in comparison to Leipzig. Leipzig was founded only eight years ago in 2009 when sports drink company Red Bull bought the club’s license. They began life in Germany’s fifth tier. A remarkably swift rise through the leagues culminated last season as they earned promotion to the first division.

Their 11 games unbeaten following the win over Leverkusen set a new record for a promoted side.

Leipzig is no Leicester

You would think Leipzig’s dream run would surely rank alongside the greatest Football fairytales of the 21st century. At least that’s what it looks like at first glance, but we must apply some context to their achievement.

With the backing of worldwide firm Red Bull, Leipzig invested more than £40 million in players over the summer. Signings included striker Timo Werner from Stuttgart, who has five goals this season and highly-rated 19-year-old winger Oliver Burke from Nottingham Forest.

As well as spending money, Leipzig also has a strong infrastructure, especially for a club with only an eight-year history.

Their average attendance in the second division last season was close to 30,000. Ralf Rangnick, the former manager of Schalke and rumoured to be linked with the England job, is Director of Football at Leipzig. He filled in as manager during last season’s successful campaign. Leipzig is hardly a club short of high-profile backing.

But they have caused controversy by circumventing German Football Association rules designed to prevent clubs being taken over by wealthy investors. Needless to say, their structure has not gone down well in the rest of Germany. For example, thousands of Dortmund fans boycotted their game at Leipzig in September in protest at the way the club is being run.

Bayern can return to summit with win over Dortmund

Champions Bayern remain strong favourites to retain their Bundesliga title. They are blessed with one of the best squads in world football, and manager Carlo Ancelotti has guided a number of Europe’s top clubs to success in the past.

Leipzig’s run has them under pressure, however. On Saturday evening, they face Dortmund who are generally their closest challengers but has been inconsistent so far this season. Nonetheless, Dortmund possesses one of the most dangerous strikers around in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, so Bayern will need to be at their best to overhaul Leipzig this weekend.

Many German football supporters have longed for a serious challenger to Bayern in recent years. But given Leipzig’s financial backing and arguably artificial rise, a number of those fans are still struggling to warm to the surprise leaders.