Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich suspects RB Leipzig could find the rest of the Bundesliga campaign tougher than they did before because they will have to contend with the pressure of being favourites.
Despite being in Germany's top flight for the first time in their history after only being founded in 2009, Leipzig have been a revelation this season and went into the Bundesliga's mid-season break in second, just three points behind pacesetters Bayern.
Timo Werner, Emil Forsberg, Naby Keita and Willi Orban have been particularly impressive so far, with Ralph Hasenhuttl's side currently looking on course for a Champions League spot.
But Kimmich, who played for Leipzig from 2013 until 2015, thinks that they may now find things a little tougher as they go into matches expected to do well.
"I think everybody in Germany knows that they [Leipzig] have high quality in the squad," Kimmich told reporters after Bayern's Telekom Cup triumph over Mainz on Saturday.
"After such a first half of the season, they are justifiably up in the table. Of course, it's different now.
"They are still a promoted team, but they go into matches with a different standing. Now, they will be the favourites.
"They have a very young squad, but with high quality. In any case, they can be expected [to carry on impressing]."
Bayern captain Philipp Lahm has also been impressed with Leipzig, though he expects Borussia Dortmund to come on strong towards the end of the season after having dire luck with injuries so far.
He said: "Leipzig has played a very good first half of the season. We shall see if they can stay on this level and to collect the points until the end.
"For me, Dortmund is still a very strong rival, even though they are far behind us.
"We just have to concentrate on us. If we get our points, it will be very, very difficult for the opposition."
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.