Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich lock horns with RB Leipzig for the second time in three days after seeing the Red Bulls off in the second round of DFB Pokal. The emerging Leipzig side showed they are not to be pushed over and will be keen to exact revenge at Allianz Arena.
Galvanized Bayern Munich
Bundesliga champions did not have the best of starts to the new season and ended up parting ways with head coach Carlo Ancelotti after a series of below-par performances which exposed plenty of dirt within the squad and reported disagreements between the manager and some of his players. A familiar face of Jupp Heynckes was called to get Bayern back on track and judging by his early work it appears the shock therapy is working. Four wins on the trot for the experienced manager speak volumes whereas it is a hard-fought triumph in the DFB Pokal during the week against RB Leipzig that serves as a major morale boost for the Bavarian giants. Bayern Munich showed plenty of character at a delicate moment by securing an important penalty shootout victory, but will be beating themselves for not solving the game during 120 minutes. Bayern spent more than a half an hour playing with a man more but still allowed Leipzig to score first and ended up being forced to chase the result. Thiago Alcantara denied Emil Forsberg’s opening goal, whereas the Bavarians will in the end have to thank Timo Werner for his miss from the spot that pushed them through to the next round.
In Bayern’s defense, the reigning champions have been forced to play without several first-team players who continue to miss out for the Bundesliga showdown as well. Thomas Muller is ruled out with a thigh injury while Franck Ribery is suffering from a knee problem.
First-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer continues to miss out, whereas the availability of Juan Bernat will be put to the late fitness test.
Leipzig looking for a revenge
For a club that had only been founded in 2009, Red Bull Leipzig have made sensational rise to the very top of the German football. Their financial backers Red Bull deserve credit for turning a lowly side into a glorious giant boasting one of the most talented side in the Bundesliga. Led by a remarkable genius of Ralph Hasenhuttl, who is seen by many as a perfect fit for Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig have been making plenty of waves across Germany and Europe as well. The German side managed to earn a Champions League spot in their very first season in the German top flight and are coming back from their very first win in the elite competition – against FC Porto some ten days ago. Sitting one point behind the joint Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig return to Allianz Arena for the second time this week to try and exact revenge and leapfrog the Bavarians in the standings. If there is match that helps you determine your own value than it’s definitely a clash against Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig will now have another great chance to measure against the very best to get another strong validation of their quality.
Liverpool-bound midfielder Naby Keita was sent off for the third time is last seven games for his team and although the suspension will not be applied for the Bundesliga game, he could be a huge liability for the trip to Munich.
Austrian midfielder Stefan Ilsanker is out of contention with his toe injury, whereas reserve goalkeeper Fabio Coltroti is a doubt with his muscle problem.
Despite the apparent difference in stature and reputation, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig are currently hard to tell apart in terms of quality and form. The Bundesliga newbies are boasting a remarkably talented squad capable of inflicting great damage to the ageing Bayern Munich side and we can see them putting an even bigger effort to get their revenge for the DFB Pokal defeat.
Top pick: Both teams to score – yes 1.66 (19/29) @Unibet
Alternative pick 1: RB Leipzig Draw no Bet 7.50 (13/2) @888sport
Alternative pick 2: RB Leipzig +1.75 Asian handicap 1.83 (5/6) @188bet