RB Leipzig vs Bayern München – Saturday 14:30 BST / 15:30 CET Red Bull Arena – Leipzig.
Bayern München have long secured the Bundesliga title. Nonetheless, the clash between RB Leipzig and Bayern on Saturday will be the top game in the Bundesliga on the weekend.
For a long time this season it appeared that RB Leipzig could challenge Bayern for the title. But a heavy 3-0 defeat to the Bavarians on matchday 17, and a drop of form earlier in the spring meant that Leipzig somewhat fell behind Bayern München, who were able to clinch the title on matchday 31.
At the same time, RB Leipzig can look back to this season with some pride. The club became the first side in UEFA Champions League history to reach the group stage after having played just one season in the top flight.
Of course, RB Leipzig are not an ordinarily promoted side. RB, the acronym stands for RasenBallsport, but also conveniently is the acronym for their sponsor Red Bull, who through their financial contributions have ensured that RB Leipzig could be competitive in their first season in the top flight.
At the same time, the makers of RB Leipzig would not have dared to reach the Champions League in the first season. Directed by sports director Ralf Rangnick, and head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl Leipzig have taken the league by storm. Their high pressing up-tempo football has made the club impossible to play against at times.
Young stars such as Naby Keïta, Emil Forsberg, and Timo Werner have played themselves into the scout books of many European top clubs. The financial structure of the organization, however, will not only ensure that these players will remain in Leipzig, but that further talent will be added to the squad.
Sponsorship money should make the club competitive for the UEFA Champions League next season. The game on the weekend, in fact, will be a perfect test run for next season’s Champions League.
Despite their unfortunate quarterfinal elimination against Real Madrid Bayern remain one of the biggest club teams on the planet. Filled with stars, the Bavarians will want to round up their season with a convincing victory over Leipzig.
Success against Leipzig indeed would show that talk about an ageing squad might be premature. Leipzig, on the other hand, will want to demonstrate that they have learned from their defeat suffered at the hands of the Bavarians earlier this season. Altogether this will mean that this will be a fascinating encounter with the game possible ending in a high scoring draw.
RB Leipzig vs Bayern München – Players to look out for:
Robert Lewandowski #9 – Bayern München
The goal-scoring race in the Bundesliga continues to heat up. Robert Lewandowski (28 goals) is competing with Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (28 goals), and 1.FC Köln’s Anthony Modeste (25 goals) for this season’s Torjägerkanone (the goal scorers’ title). It is the first time that three players have scored more than 25 goals at this stage of the Bundesliga season in what has been a breath-taking race. Lewandowski was the best scorer last season closely edging out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and the Polish striker will want to repeat the feat this season.
Timo Werner #11 – RB Leipzig
Timo Werner has scored 19 out of the 60 goals scored by RB Leipzig this season. It has been the biggest goal tally in the still young career of the 21-year-old forward. Indeed it is often hard to forget that Werner, who made his debut four years ago for VfB Stuttgart, is still only 21. The forward broke Julian Draxler’s record earlier this season to become the youngest player to reach 100 games in the Bundesliga, moved to RB Leipzig last summer, after his boyhood club VfB Stuttgart was relegated. The move seems to have done wonders for the striker, who might very well feature for Germany at this summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
RB Leipzig vs Bayern München – Match Stats
- No player in Leipzig’s squad has ever managed to beat Bayern München.
- RB Leipzig defender Marvin Compper has faced Bayern eleven times (W0 D5 L6).
- RB Leipzig and Bayern München are separated by ten points.
- This is the first competitive fixture for Bayern München at the Red Bull Arena.
Prediction: RB Leipzig vs Bayern München 2-2
RB Leipzig vs Bayern München – Possible Lineups
Gulasci – Ilsanker, Upamecano, Compper, Bernardo – Keïta, Demme – Sabitzer, Forsberg – Werner, Poulsen
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Starke – Lahm, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Xabi Alonso, Thiago – Robben, Müller, Ribery – Lewandowski
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti