17:30 BST, Saturday 28th October, Allianz Arena (Munich, Germany), BT Sport 2
Bayern Munich will look to retake their place at the top of the Bundesliga when they host RB Leipzig on Saturday night. There was a taste of what to expect from this fixture on Wednesday night when these two sides played an epic second-round encounter in the DFB Pokal: Bayern eventually winning on penalties.
RB Leipzig’s form in the Bundesliga has been solid this season. Last weekend, they defeated Stuttgart 1-0 at home whilst Bayern’s last league outing was a 1-0 win over Hamburg.
This game could be one of the games of the season so far. Who can get it done at the Allianz Arena?
Last Time Out
RB Leipzig 1-1 Bayern Munich (4-5 on Penalties) (DFB Pokal)
With both sides coming off a win in the league, a capacity crowd packed into the Red Bull Arena as the record champions took on RB Leipzig. When the two sides met in Leipzig last time out, it resulted in an entertaining nine-goal thriller. In this game, RB Leipzig showed plenty of energy early on as they quickly began to dominate proceedings. However, they failed to create any clear-cut chances.
The second half brought a change in proceedings when Naby Keïta picked up his second yellow of proceedings 53 minutes which means the Gabonese midfielder has now received 3 red cards in the last month.
Even with 10-men Leipzig were dangerous going forward: on 68 minutes, Emil Forsberg converted from the spot after referee Felix Zwayer deemed Jerome Boateng to have fouled Yussuf Poulsen. The lead only lasted 5 minutes, though, Thiago equalising for the Bavarians.
With fatigue setting in, the game went to extra time. With penalties quickly approaching, Leipzig thought they had taken the lead when Timo Werner rounder Sven Ulreich. However, Werner was just offside.
When the game finally went to penalties, both teams scored all their attempts until the responsibility fell on Timo Werner. His spot kick was saved by Sven Ulreich who guessed right for the first time in the shootout to send Bayern through.
Bayern Munich Lineup
Bayern are still without James Rodriguez and Thomas Müller through injury with Thiago likely to play in the number 10 role behind Robert Lewandowski. Jerome Boateng drops to the bench after Niklas Süle was rested in the mid-week fixture. He will be partnering Mats Hummels in defence.
RB Leipzig Lineup
Lukas Klostermann, Diego Demme and Timo Werner were all used as substitutes in the Pokal. They are all likely to start in the league fixture. Naby Keïta will start for Leipzig despite being sent off on Wednesday.
Key Battle: Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich) vs Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig)
Two of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga will battle under the lights at the Allianz Arena. With injuries to Thomas Müller and James Rodriguez, Thiago will play in a more advanced role in the midfield. The 26-year-old burst onto the scene last season, where he was considered by many to be one of the best players in the Bundesliga. However, an abdominal injury combined with a lack of game time has hindered Thiago’s season so far. Expect Thiago to turn it on against Leipzig.
Emil Forsberg has suffered second-season blues this year as he searches to recapture his glittering form in Leipzig’s inaugural Bundesliga campaign. Around this time last season, Forsberg had three goals and two assists in the league – figures which would eventually total 8 goals and 22 assists (the highest across the top 5 leagues in Europe). For Leipzig to remain successful, they need Forsberg to tee it up for Die Roten Bullen in Munich.
RB Leipzig are still searching for their first victory against Bayern Munich despite the fact that they have pushed them all the way in two of their three encounters. In their first meeting, Bayern cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win after Emil Forsberg seeing his marching orders on 31 minutes. However, in the return fixture, Bayern had to come from behind to sneak a 5-4 victory and on Wednesday night a shootout was needed. RB Leipzig have plenty of motivation and taking the three points in Munich would feel like redemption.
Since Jupp Heynckes has returned as Bayern Munich manager, the record champions have looked more like the Bayern of old. It’s ironic how a change of manager can change the fortunes of a club and Bayern it has worked a treat with Heynckes already getting a high level out of his players, something we didn’t see frequently under Carlo Ancelotti. Can Heynckes continue to make more magic against Leipzig at home?
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 RB Leipzig
This is undoubtedly the game of the matchday and is the one to watch this weekend. Bayern Munich have regained their spark but against a tough advisory in RB Leipzig, it’s going to be an entertaining contest with lots of free-flowing football and plenty of attempts on goal. Leipzig will be looking for redemption but Bayern should keep their cool with the record champions taking the points at the Allianz Arena.
Can Bayern Munich take its place atop of the Bundesliga table or will RB Leipzig close the gap? Let us know in the comments section below
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