Bundesliga: Key questions ahead of Bayern Munich’s clash with RB Leipzig

Can Bayern Munich avoid a third home defeat?

The defending Bundesliga champions have rediscovered their title-winning form over the last two months. They’ve won six consecutive league games and have reclaimed top spot in the standings.

A home win on Sunday against RB Leipzig could be key to Bayern’s quest to win an eighth consecutive league title. But the German giants don’t have a perfect record in the Allianz Arena, having lost to both Hoffenheim and Leverkusen at home this season.

Read more: Why Bayern Munich are going to win the Bundesliga — again

Though not in the best form, Leipzig are able to pose a challenge to Bayern that few teams in German can. The Bavarians have just wrested the top spot in the Bundesliga away from the Red Bulls and they won’t be keen to give it up. 

Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig have one just one of their four games in 2020

Can RB Leipzig come out strong in the first half?

After a solid 3-1 win over Union Berlin to start 2020, Leipzig lost twice to Eintracht Frankfurt, first in the Bundesliga in January and then in the German Cup earlier this week. They also split the points with title-rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 20.

Their recent dip in form can be attributed in large part to poor first-half performances. Julian Nagelsmann’s side have allowed two goals in the opening period in each of their last three games despite out-possessing and out-passing their opponents. Only once, against Gladbach, were they able to come back and level the score, and Alassane Plea’s sending off in the second half helped make that possible.

As Timo Werner noted earlier this week, Leipzig can’t afford to start slowly in Munich.

“If Bayern take the lead, they don’t let it slip away,” he said in an interview with German football publication Kicker.

Read more: German Cup: RB Leipzig eliminated after Julian Nagelsmann’s gamble fails

  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: A brief history

    Bayern Munich 3-0 RB Leipzig — 2016-17 Bundesliga

    (Thiago 17′, Alonso 25′, Lewandowski 44′ pen.)

    Bayern and Leipzig were level on points going into their first ever meeting in December 2016. Tensions flared when Emil Forsberg (third from right) was sent off for a rough tackle on Philipp Lahm (bottom left). With a man advantage, Bayern easily vanquished their new challenger and secured an important victory to their title-winning campaign.

  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: A brief history

    RB Leipzig 4-5 Bayern Munich — 2016-17 Bundesliga

    (Sabitzer 2′, Werner 29′, 65′, Poulsen 47′ — Lewandowski 17′ pen., 84′, Thiago 60′, Alaba 90+1′, Robben 90+5′)

    The second meeting between these two sides was certainly not short on entertainment value. Although Leipzig surrendered a 4-2 advantage in the span of 11 minutes, the result was a coming-out party for the Red Bulls and a terrific cap on their first season in the German top flight.

  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: A brief history

    RB Leipzig 1-1 Bayern Munich (4-5 on pen.) — 2017-18 German Cup

    (Forsberg 68′ — Thiago 73′)

    Bayern handed Leipzig an early German Cup exit in the second round. The Red Bulls fought gallantly against the defending cup champions for 120 minutes, but their effort was in vain once Sven Ulreich stopped Timo Werner’s spot kick in the penalty shootout. Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund in the next round, but fell to Eintracht Frankfurt in the final.

  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: A brief history

    Bayern Munich 2-0 RB Leipzig — 2017-18 Bundesliga

    (Rodriguez 19′, Lewandowski 38′)

    The two sides squared off again in the league three days after their cup tie in October 2018. Leipzig’s opportunity to exact revenge was snuffed out after Willi Orban (third from right) was sent off for a last-man tackle on Arjen Robben. With the man advantage, Bayern shifted into cruise control and easily dispatched the Saxony-based side.

  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: A brief history

    RB Leipzig 2-1 Bayern Munich — 2017-18 Bundesliga

    (Keita 37′, Werner 56′ — Wagner 12′)
    A stellar showing from Naby Keita (right) helped Leipzig to secure their first win (and only to date) over Bayern. With his side facing an early 1-0 deficit, Keita finished off a saved effort from Timo Werner before setting up his teammate later. Bayern, however, were coming off a midweek Champions League fixture and fielded with several squad players.

  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: A brief history

    Bayern Munich 1-0 RB Leipzig — 2018-19 Bundesliga

    (Ribery 83′)

    The two sides were toe-to-toe before Franck Ribery broke the deadlock. Things kicked off after Stefan Ilsanker took down Thiago with a rash sliding challenge. The Austrian midfielder received a straight red card from Referee Marco Fritz. Renato Sanches, who took issue with Ilsanker’s challenge, was also set off with a second yellow.

  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: A brief history

    RB Leipzig 0-0 Bayern Munich — 2018-19 Bundesliga

    This particular meeting in May 2019 was set to be a sneak preview to the German Cup final later that month. The result was much more underwhelming, with the two sides playing to their only scoreless draw to date.

  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: A brief history

    Bayern Munich 3-0 RB Leipzig — 2018-19 German Cup final

    (Lewandowski 29′, 85′, Coman 78′)

    On the heals of securing the Bundesliga title on the final matchday the week before, Bayern trounced the Red Bulls in the cup final in Berlin’s Olympic stadium. Robert Lewandowski’s brace was the second of his career in a German Cup final.

  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: A brief history

    RB Leipzig 1-1 Bayern Munich — 2019-20 Bundesliga

    (Forsberg 45+3′ pen. — Lewandowski 3′)

    After dropping points at home on the first match of the season against Hertha Berlin, Bayern appeared to have their season back on track when the two sides met on Matchday 4 in September 2019. But an early Robert Lewandowski strike was canceled out by Emil Forsberg’s penalty before halftime.

    Author: Davis VanOpdorp

Can Thomas Müller open his account against RBL?

After failing to score in 10 league games under Niko Kovac, who was sacked in early November, Müller now has five goals in 10 games under Hansi Flick. He’s found the net in each of Bayern’s games in 2020, including one on Wednesday in his side’s 4-3 win over Hoffenheim in the cup.

But the 30-year-old forward has failed to score in his five appearances against Leipzig. The fact that the Red Bulls are without Ibrahima Konate and Willi Orban and thus forced to us wide defenders like Marcel Halstenberg and Lukas Klostermann more centrally, may help Müller to finally find the back of the net against the Saxony-based club.

Read more: Thomas Müller proves his worth as Bayern Munich reach German Cup quarters

A sullen Timo Werner after RB Leipzig’s 2-0 loss to Frankfurt in January

Which Timo Werner will show up in Munich?

Werner is having the best season of his career. His tally of 20 Bundesliga goals is one short of his single-season best and is second only to Robert Lewandowski’s 22 in the league this term.

But the 23-year-old forward has been a non-factor in Leipzig’s last three winless games. Werner has averaged 2.3 shots on goal per game in the Bundesliga this season, but he only had a combined total of two shots on target in Leipzig’s contests against Frankfurt and Gladbach.

As a focal point in the Red Bull attack, Werner will need to be on his game in order to give his side a chance against the defending league champions.

Emil Forsberg (right) argues with the linesman after being sent off

Can Leipzig avoid a sending off?

Leipzig have never finished a game at the Allianz Arena with 11 men.

In their first-ever trip, a 3-0 defeat in December 2016, Emil Forsberg was sent off after a hard foul on Philipp Lahm. Orban saw straight red 10 minutes after kickoff for a last-man tackle on Arjen Robben when the two sides met in October 2017, a game the Red Bulls lost 2-0.

Leipzig’s most-recent visit to Munich came in December 2018, when they almost made it to the final whistle with all 11 players on the pitch. However, a dust up in stoppage time, sparked by a rash Stefan Ilsanker challenge on Thiago, led to both Ilsanker’s and Renato Sanches’ dismissal. The sendings off had no bearing on the result, a 1-0 victory for Bayern.


Article source: https://www.dw.com/en/bundesliga-key-questions-ahead-of-bayern-munich-s-clash-with-rb-leipzig/a-52276841?maca=en-rss-en-sports-1027-xml-atom