RB Leipzig host Bayern Munich at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening. Nagelsmann team sit four points off Bayern and really need to win this match if they have genuine hopes of lifting the title. A win for Hansi Flick’s men will put seven clear at the summit and close to retaining their Bundesliga title. They will have to do it without prolific striker Robert Lewandowski due to injury whilst Dayot Upamecano will face the team who have signed him for next season.
RB Leipzig Form
Julian Nagelsmann’s side are in strong form in the Bundesliga with seven wins and one draw in their last eight matches since losing at Mainz in late January – the longest current unbeaten run in the Bundesliga. A fine 3-2 win against Borussia Monchengladbach after being 2-0 down was followed by a 3-0 win at Freiburg before a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Eintracht Frankfurt.
They bounced back with a 1-0 win on their travels at Arminia Bielefeld in their most recent match. RB Leipzig have also lost 2-0 in both legs of the Champions League round of 16 to Liverpool and beaten Wolfsburg 2-0 at home in the DFB Pokal.
RB Leipzig Team News
RB Leipzig were without Bayern-bound Dayot Upamecano for their last match due to a thigh injury. He is back and available to face his future employers. Ibrahima Konate has played no minutes in the last three matches after long-term injury even with Upamecano out. He was strongly linked with Liverpool this week but is not expected to start this one.
Angelino has missed the last six matches at left wingback and his return date is not clear. Konrad Laimer remains out after long-term injury and defender Marcel Halstenberg had to withdraw from Germany duty after coming into contact with someone with COVID-19. Holding midfielder Kevin Kampl is out suspended.
RB Leipzig Motivation
Leipzig need to win this match to close the gap on Bayern to one point. A draw would not be a death knell for their title hopes but a defeat certainly would be as Flick’s side barely drop points and appear to be peaking.
RB Leipzig under Nagelsmann are usually very good at home and play an intense style in and out of possession. They can’t afford to open up and concede first but may be emboldened to attack more without Lewandowski to worry about. Their elimination from the Champions League means that they have no midweek distractions.
Bayern sit four points clear of RB Leipzig at the top of the log. They have won 13 of their last 15 matches in all competitions with the only dropped points being a 3-3 home draw with Arminia Bielefeld in late January and a shock 2-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt in the following match.
In response, Die Roten have won six matches in a row, scoring 22 goals as Lazio were beaten 6-2 on aggregate in the Champions League, Dortmund were beaten 4-2 in the league and Stuttgart were thrashed 4-0 in their last match. Robert Lewandowski scored a hattrick in that match and Bayern played 78 minutes with ten men after Alphonso Davies was sent off after 12 minutes with the score at 0-0!
Bayern Team News
Hansi Flick has several issues to deal with for this match. Jerome Boateng and Alphonso Davies are both suspended in defence so it’s expected to be David Alaba partnering Niklas Süle in central defence with Lucas Hernandez at left back.
35 goal striker Robert Lewandowski is out injured after a knee issues on international duty so Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is expected to play up front as he has done in other matches that Lewandowski has missed.
Bayern face PSG in midweek and that will certainly be a focus for them. They would love to win this match and open the gap to seven points but risking defeat is not an option. A seven point lead at this stage of the season has never been overturned in the Bundesliga.
A draw would be a solid result and Bayern haven’t beaten Leipzig in their last four meetings with matches open tight and tactical.
RB Leipzig have won 4 of their last 5 home Bundesliga matches
Leipzig have won 15 of their last 19 home matches
Leipzig have drawn their last 4 Bundesliga matches against Bayern Munich
9 of RB Leipzig’s last 10 league goals have come in the second half
Bayern have won 6 matches in a row, scoring 22 goals
Bayern Munich have won 6 of their last 7 away matches
Bayern are 6 matches unbeaten against RB Leipzig in all competitions (W2, D4)
These sides are hard to separate in the league and the injuries for Bayern level the playing field somewhat so a fifth consecutive draw in the league between these sides looks the best bet.