Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

RB Leipzig will be aiming to defend their DFB-Pokal title when they take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on Saturday.

Frankfurt, meanwhile, could move level with Werder Bremen on six German domestic cup triumphs, which would leave them behind only Bayern Munich as the competition’s joint-second most successful team in history.

Leipzig, of course, secured their first ever major trophy by beating Freiburg on penalties in a dramatic final last season, with Christopher Nkunku levelling the tie late on despite Marcel Halstenberg being sent off after his side had already fallen behind.

Die Roten Bullen defeated Christian Streich’s side once again, this time around at the semi-final stage to make it to their third consecutive cup final, although it was a much more comfortable affair as they ran out 5-1 winners at Europa-Park Stadion.

Marco Rose’s side should head into Saturday’s final with plenty of confidence after winning seven of their final eight Bundesliga games to ensure that they will compete in the Champions League for the fifth successive campaign, with Nkunku potentially set to play for his final game for the club after bagging a brace against relegated Schalke 04 last time out.

Indeed, after suffering a dreadful start to the season under Domenico Tedesco, there is little doubt that Leipzig have hugely improved under the stewardship of Rose, who boasts a 67.5% win rate from his 40 games in charge in all competitions since taking over in early September.

The 46-year-old will be desperate to win his first ever trophy as a manager in Germany, with the fact that he is leading the major club from his home city only adding to the romance of the story potentially set to unfold this weekend.

However, Oliver Glasner and his players will certainly attempt to put a stop to the DFB-Pokal holders retaining their title, as Frankfurt look to win their second major trophy in two seasons after sensationally lifting the Europa League in Glasner’s first season in charge.

After qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history by beating Rangers on penalties last May, Die Adler ensured that they will compete in Europe once again by snatching seventh spot away from Wolfsburg’s grasp via Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe’s injury-time winner against Freiburg on the final day.

Whether they will represent Germany in the Europa League or Europa Conference League next season comes down to their result in Saturday’s cup final: victory against Leipzig would take them into the Europa League once again, but defeat would see them only make it to the Europa Conference League.

Ultimately, that is all secondary to the possibility of lifting a major honour once again, with Glasner almost certainly relieved that his players managed to rediscover some form in recent weeks.

Indeed, Frankfurt had endured a winless run of 10 league games, while their 3-2 win against Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal semi-final remains their only victory on the road from their last 13 trips.

Considering that Saturday’s final is being played at a neutral venue in the capital, Frankfurt’s recent reliance on their home support at Deutsche Bank Park could prove to be their undoing against Leipzig, although under Glasner they have frequently displayed an ability to get the job done when it matters most.

RB Leipzig DFB-Pokal form:

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):

Eintracht Frankfurt DFB-Pokal form:

Eintracht Frankfurt form (all competitions):

We say: RB Leipzig 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Both teams are capable of producing excellent offensive football on their day, which should help produce a thrilling DFB-Pokal final in the German capital on Saturday.

However, there is little doubt that Leipzig head into this match in considerably superior form across recent months, while they clearly possess more match-winners at their disposal. As such, we expect them to retain the trophy in regular time.

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