Bayern Munich will look to take another massive step toward clinching their 11th consecutive Bundesliga triumph when they take on RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena on Saturday evening.
The title race is set to go down to the wire, and Thomas Tuchel’s Bavarians can ill afford a slip-up, with the German admitting as much in his pre-match press conference.
Both sides head into the weekend contest needing maximum points to bolster their respective ambitions, and they both arrive on the back of three consecutive wins.
Bayern hit their stride against Schalke 04 last weekend, hitting the relegation strugglers for six at the Allianz Arena to maintain their slender one-point lead at the Bundesliga summit.
They must replicate their rampant performance against Marco Rose’s Leipzig, who needed two late goals to overcome Werder Bremen in their last outing.
Die Roten Bullen secured the victory thanks to a dramatic late goal from Dominik Szoboszlai, but they were spurred by Christopher Nkunku, who led his side to success with two assists.
Leipzig are on course to secure Champions League qualification, but a defeat at the weekend could have catastrophic consequences for Rose’s side, who sit just four points above fifth-placed Freiburg.
With two fixtures remaining, this season’s title race constitutes the most closely fought in the last 13 years, as Bayern hold a one-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga table.
After struggling in his first six matches in charge, Tuchel seems to have steadied the ship, having put together three consecutive victories to ensure his side controls their title fate.
The Bavarians are considered favourites for Saturday’s contest, and rightly so, having lost just one of their 16 competitive games against Leipzig (W9, D6).
Serge Gnabry has netted in three consecutive games for the first time since February 2020 – his record stands at four in a row – but he has yet to score for Bayern in nine games against Leipzig.
Leipzig face the uphill task of thwarting Bayern to consolidate their place in the top four – a feat they have not achieved in their last 11 tries (D5, L6). It constitutes their longest winless streak against a particular side in professional football.
They sit four points above fifth place but are still in danger of missing out on top four. No side has blown a lead that wide with Champions League qualification on the line since 2011/12, but they need a positive result against Bayern to bolster their chances.
Leipzig’s resilience in their travels this year could be pivotal in their plans to thwart the champions, as they have let in just six goals in eight Bundesliga away games in 2023.
It is the lowest in the German top flight, with only Serie A champions Napoli letting in fewer goals on their travels since the turn of the year (5) across Europe’s top five leagues.
Bayern Munich: WWWWL
RB Leipzig: DLLWW
Bayern Munich vs RB Leipzig Potential Line-ups
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Yann Sommer; Noussair Mazraoui, Benjamin Pavard, Matthijs De Ligt, Joao Cancelo; Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka; Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala; Serge Gnabry.
RB Leipzig (4-2-2-2): Janis Blaswich; Mohamed Simakan, Josko Gvardiol, Willy Orban, Benjamin Henrichs; Konrad Laimer, Amadou Haidara; Dominik Szoboszlai, Emil Forsberg; Timo Werner, Christopher Nkunku.
We Say: Bayern Munich 2-1 RB Leipzig
Bayern have hit their stride in recent games under Tuchel, and with the campaign approaching its climax, the champions will take some stopping, especially on home turf.
They should edge past Leipzig with a narrow victory and pile the pressure on the hopeful giant slayers Dortmund, who will need to match Bayern’s result to keep their hopes alive.
Watch Bundesliga Games Live
All Bundesliga games can be streamed live online, even if they are not on live TV in the UK – see our Bundesliga live streaming page for more information.
- Leicester City release seven players following drop into Championship
- AC Milan reject €60 million from Chelsea for Mike Maignan
- Nacho close to Madrid contract renewal in blow to Inter Milan
- Chelsea sign teenage star Kendry Paez
- Leicester want at least £40m for Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle target James Maddison