Preview: Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig

Preview: Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig

The standout clash of the Bundesliga action at the weekend sees leaders Bayern Munich host fellow giants RB Leipzig on Saturday evening at the Allianz Arena.

The hosts will be hoping to extend their advantage at the top of the table, whilst the visitors will be looking to continue the fine form achieved under their new boss prior to the international break.

With Bayern unexpectedly losing 2-1 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach on the return from Germany’s winter break at the beginning of January, and Borussia Dortmund coming from 2-0 down to dramatically win 3-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt later that weekend, the gap at the top of the Bundesliga was cut from nine points to six.

BVB then took full advantage of an earlier kickoff on the weekend of matchday 19 to thump Freiburg and temporarily cut the gap to three, but in typical Bayern fashion, they have responded in true champion-like style.

A 4-0 hammering at a strong FC Koln side later that weekend saw Julian Nagelsmann’s side regain their six-point advantage, and a 4-1 thrashing at Hertha Berlin immediately before the international break means the Bavarians head into this weekend with their six-point lead still intact.

With Dortmund not due to play until Sunday, it provides the league leaders with the opportunity to put the pressure back on their challengers, although they do face one of their tougher tests of the Bundesliga campaign in the form of Leipzig.

Although Nagelsmann has overseen his side fall to two shock defeats at the Allianz Arena already this season, he prepares his men to face his former employers with the plan to replicate their success at the Red Bull Arena back in September.

The 4-1 thrashing against last season’s runners-up was the perfect way for Nagelsmann to mark his return to his old stomping ground, and he will be eager to get one over them again on Saturday and extend his current side’s advantage at the summit in the process.

Meanwhile, visitors Leipzig have a new manager in place to the one that suffered that 4-1 hammering earlier in the campaign
Domenico Tedesco has replaced predecessor Jesse Marsch since then, and the former Spartak Moscow boss has overseen a strong start to his tenure so far.

Five wins from his seven games in charge in all competitions has seen Die Roten Bullen revive their faltering start to the season, by reaching the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal and climbing up to sixth in the table in the process.

Although the visitors have no hope of challenging Bayern for their title this time around, with a huge 18-point gap separating the two sides as things stand, Tedesco can at least ensure that Champions League football will be played at the Red Bull Arena again next season.

Before his arrival, that objective was in huge doubt, but Leipzig head into matchday 21 with only a narrow gap of three points keeping them behind Union Berlin inside the top four.

That deficit could be increased at the weekend though, having failed to beat the champions in each of their last eight meetings, although they can at least cling on to the positive of their back-to-back draws earned at the Allianz Arena on their last two visits.

Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:
RB Leipzig Bundesliga form:
RB Leipzig form (all competitions):

We say: Bayern Munich 3-1 RB Leipzig
Despite the calibre of their opponent, and the form that they find themselves in under their new boss, we are expecting Bayern to triumph comfortably on Saturday.

Bayern seem to rise to the occasion of big fixtures like this one and put in scintillating performances, and they will be eager to capitalise on the opportunity to put the pressure on Dortmund by extending their gap to nine points at the top of the table.

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