Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Prediction: Bayern Munich vs RB Leipzig

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 10/3

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

The upcoming clash between Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and top-four hopefuls RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena on Saturday marks their first encounter since September last year. It is also Bayern’s first match since their parting of ways with head coach Thomas Tuchel at the end of the season has been officially announced.

In the previous meeting of these teams, goals from Leroy Sane and Harry Kane enabled the Bavarian giants to stage a remarkable comeback from a two-goal deficit at halftime, ultimately securing a 2-2 draw at the Red Bull Arena.

Bayern Munich

February has indeed been a challenging month for Bayern Munich, with three consecutive defeats across all competitions. The Bavarians were notably defeated 3-0 by Leipzig in the DFL Supercup and suffered an unexpected loss to third-tier side Saarbrucken in the DFB-Pokal earlier this season.

Additionally, they find themselves trailing in their Champions League last-16 tie against Lazio and are eight points behind unbeaten Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen with 12 games remaining.

Bayern’s latest setback came in a surprising 3-2 defeat to VfL Bochum at Vonovia Ruhrstadion last weekend. This series of defeats led to the announcement that Tuchel would depart the club at the end of the season following discussions with the club’s hierarchy. Despite this decision, Tuchel and his coaching staff remain determined to achieve maximum success before leaving the Allianz Arena.

Bayern’s immediate task is to rally the first-team squad and reverse their fortunes if they hope to contend for silverware this season. However, securing a victory on Saturday against Leipzig won’t be easy, as Bayern have failed to win any of their last four meetings with their opponents.

And to add to the overall feelings of anxiety, not since 1991 under former boss Soren Lerby have Bayern experienced four consecutive defeats in all competitions, and it will happen if they lose on Saturday.

Team News

Tuchel faces problems at right-back due to the absence of Sacha Boey and Noussair Mazraoui, both of whom are nursing hamstring injuries. As a result, Joshua Kimmich could be tasked to step in on the right side of defence, having played there in his early career, while alternatives such as Eric Dier and Raphael Guerreiro may also be considered.

In addition to the right-back situation, Bayern Munich will have several key players unavailable due to injury. Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, Konrad Laimer, Tarek Buchmann, Bouna Sarr, and Noel Aseko are all sidelined with various injuries. Furthermore, Dayot Upamecano is suspended following his red card in the previous match against Bochum.

There is also uncertainty surrounding the availability of Alphonso Davies, who has missed the last three games with a knee problem. If Davies remains unavailable, Raphael Guerreiro could continue to deputize at left-back. Leroy Sane will be hoping to regain his place in the starting lineup, potentially displacing Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting.

RB Leipzig

After a disappointing start to 2024 with three consecutive Bundesliga losses, RB Leipzig have shown signs of improvement lately, securing seven points from their last three league matches. This includes a 2-0 win over Union Berlin, a 2-2 draw against Augsburg, and a 2-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach, with goals from Xavi Simons and Lois Openda.

Unrelated to their recent loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League, Leipzig remain fifth in the Bundesliga, just one point behind fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund. With a favorable upcoming schedule, including matches against bottom-ranked teams, Leipzig will be looking to continue their climb up the table over the next couple of weeks.

However, they face a tough test against Bayern in Munich, especially considering their recent struggles on the road. Marco Rose’s team has won only one of their last six Bundesliga away games and conceded 14 goals during that period.

Nonetheless, they will draw confidence from their previous season’s 3-1 victory at the Allianz Arena and aim to replicate that success on Saturday, looking to take advantage of Bayern’s ongoing problems.

Team News

Leipzig will be without Lukas Klostermann due to a thigh injury he suffered in the previous match against Monchengladbach. Additionally, Amadou Haidara is carrying a knee issue and will be evaluated before the game.

In Klostermann’s absence, Mohamed Simakan is expected to partner Willi Orban in central defence. Depending on Haidara’s fitness, Nicolas Seiwald or Kevin Kampl could join Xaver Schlager in midfield.

Benjamin Sesko, who was benched in the last game, may return to the starting lineup, possibly replacing Yussuf Poulsen upfront.

Conclusion

It’s certainly a keenly anticipated match, given both teams’ recent form and the historical competitiveness between them. A draw wouldn’t be a surprising outcome, especially considering Leipzig’s recent performances against Bayern. It should indeed be an exciting and closely contested encounter.

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 10/3

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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