Buoyant Leipzig out to make history at Bayern Munich
Berlin (AFP) – RB Leipzig chase a first away win at Bayern Munich in Saturday’s top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash after being buoyed by their last-gasp winner in the Champions League.
Alexander Sorloth’s last-minute goal sealed a 4-3 win at Basaksehir Istanbul on Wednesday and Leipzig can reach the last 16 by beating Manchester United at home next Tuesday.
Before that, second-placed Leipzig are chasing a first away win over Bayern at the imposing Allianz Arena, where the Bundesliga leaders have not lost for a year in any competition.
Bayern hold a two-point gap over Leipzig in the league.
“It’s going to be an awesome game,” prophesied midfielder Emil Forsberg, “we want to take something from there.”
Since reaching the Bundesliga in 2016/17 after rising from Germany’s fifth tier, Leipzig have beaten Bayern once in 10 games and never away.
The last three league meetings all ended in draws.
“I can’t remember the last time we drew three times in a row against a Bundesliga side – that’s proof that it won’t be easy for us,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“We’re at home, we want to win to defend our lead at the top of the table, so we’re taking it very seriously,” he added.
On their last four visits to the Allianz Arena, Leipzig lost 3-0, 2-0, 1-0 and then held Bayern to a goalless draw in February.
“If you follow the sequence logically, then it could be that we will win,” said Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann with a grin.
Having already won 3-2 at Borussia Dortmund in last month’s top-of-the-table clash, Bayern have a chance to see off another rival.
Captain Manuel Neuer and striker Robert Lewandowski were rested for Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid with Bayern already through to the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners.
However, Nagelsmann is unhappy that there is barely a three-day gap between facing Bayern and Man Utd, “at some point it will catch up with us”.
Borussia Dortmund are already feeling the effects of a constant stream of fixtures ahead of Saturday’s away match at Eintracht Frankfurt.
After last weekend’s shock 2-1 home defeat loss to Cologne, Dortmund need to bounce back with a first win in Frankfurt for seven years.
Dortmund trail Bayern by four points in the table and expect star striker Erling Braut Haaland to be sidelined until January with a leg injury.
Haaland sat out Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at home to Lazio, in which defender Mats Hummels had to be helped off with an ankle injury.
England midfielder Jude Bellingham was also left limping, while defender Thomas Meunier and midfielder Emre Can were already sidelined with knocks.
On Sunday, third-placed Bayer Leverkusen can inflict more misery on bottom side Schalke who are on a 25 match winless streak, inching towards the league record of 31 games without a win.
One to watch: Alexander Sorloth
The Norwegian striker was flooded with relief after ending his goal drought by scoring Leipzig’s crucial winner in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Sorloth admitted “it was pure emotion, that was a very important goal” both for him and his club.
Having cost 20 million euros ($24 million) from Crystal Palace in September to replace Timo Werner, Sorloth had drawn a blank in his previous ten Leipzig games.
After netting 24 times in 34 games on loan at Turkish side Trabzonspor last season, Sorloth could mark his 25th birthday this Saturday with a goal past Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
22 – the goals Bayern Munich have scored in ten games against RB Leipzig, who have managed 12.
7 – the goals Robert Lewandowski has scored for Bayern in ten games against Leipzig.
10 – out of Dortmund’s 21 league goals this season scored by Haaland, who is expected to sit out their next four Bundesliga games.
Fixtures (all times 1430GMT unless stated)
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin (1930)
Freiburg v Borussia Moenchengladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund, Cologne v VfL Wolfsburg, Arminia Bielefeld v Mainz 05, Bayern München v RB Leipzig (1730)
Werder Bremen v VfB Stuttgart, Schalke 04 v Bayer Leverkusen (1700)
Hoffenheim v Augsburg (1930)