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Why RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich has all the makings of a title decider

The Bundesliga
The Bundesliga's first and second-placed teams will clash on Saturday.
ANALYST
Modified 02 Apr 2021
Feature

Bayern Munich take on RB Leipzig in a potential title decider as an enticing 2020-21 Bundesliga season approaches a thrilling finale.

There was a time when Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund used to be the biggest game in the German football calendar. But that no longer seems to be the case now. That's because RB Leipzig have overtaken Borussia Dortmund in recent years as Bayern Munich’s principal rivals in the Bundesliga.

Despite arriving in the Bundesliga only a few years ago, RB Leipzig have been very competitive. Last season, they ran Bayern Munich close in the title race. They are once again giving the Bavarians a run for their money in the current campaign.

As both teams prepare to face off on Saturday, it will be a game with very high stakes. While Bayern Munich will look to consolidate their lead at the top of the table, RB Leipzig will strive to close their four-point deficit on Hansi Flick’s side.

Bayern Munich take on RB Leipzig with the 2020-21 Bundesliga title on the line

Bayern Munich have dominated the Bundesliga in the last decade, winning eight consecutive titles. However, they face a tough challenge to their Bundesliga dominance this season. RB Leipzig have been hot on their heels since the start of the campaign and are threatening to end Bayern Munich’s near-decade-long dominance in the league.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side are second and just four points behind Bayern Munich, with eight games remaining this season. A win for RB Leipzig on Saturday will see them close their gap on the serial league winners to just a solitary point.

For Bayern Munich, though, victory will see them move seven clear at the top of the table. That would all but guarantee a record-extending ninth consecutive league title. In that context, Saturday’s game is a six-pointer and has all the makings of a title decider.

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All or nothing for Flick and Nagelsmann

Matches between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig are usually tight affairs, and this weekend’s game is not expected to be any different.

The last meeting between the two sides in December ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw, and both managers have hinted that they’ll once again go all out in Saturday’s fixture.

The absence of Robert Lewandowski, who has been ruled out for four weeks due to injury, is a big blow for Bayern Munich. But Flick maintains that other players are ready to fill the void left behind by the marauding Polish striker.

“These are situations that coaches have to face. We all know that Robert is an important player,” Flick said at his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Bulinews. Now we have to see how we will solve this. We have players who can play that position. It is a challenge for us all, and we have to tackle it.”
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For Nagelsmann, though, the target will be to secure all three points and stay alive in the title race. The 33-year-old believes even a draw could be a big blow to RB Leipzig’s chances of winning the title.

“Our gameplan has not changed just because Lewandowski will be missing. Obviously they’d be better with him,” Nagelsmann said, as quoted by Bulinews. If we fail to win and only earn a draw, then the title race is not over, but it will be harder. Pressure is part of the business. If Bayern Munich lose, then it will become uncomfortable for them.”

It’s all or nothing for Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig this weekend, as the winner of this clash will have all the momentum with them for the final stretch of an enticing Bundesliga season.

Published 02 Apr 2021, 22:19 IST
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