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Bundesliga Matchday 27
Red Bull Arena Leipzig, Leipzig
  • 37' Naby Keita
  • 56' Timo Werner
RB Leipzig
2 : 1
(1:1)
FC Bayern Munich
  • 12' Sandro Wagner
  • 37' Naby Keita
  • 56' Timo Werner
  • 12' Sandro Wagner
James to start

FCB want to "leave our mark again" in Leipzig

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As Bayern took to the pitch for their final training session on Saturday afternoon, the permutations for being crowned champions remains rather vague. The only way for FCB to be crowned champions on Sunday is if they beat Leipzig in the Red Bull Arena following slip-ups from both Schalke (at Wolfsburg on Saturday evening) and Dortmund (against Hannover on Sunday afternoon).

Plenty of ifs and buts, however, it appears that no one within the team itself is interested in whether the Bundesliga title is wrapped up this weekend. “Whether we’re crowned champions on Sunday or in the next game is simply not important to me,” stressed Jupp Heynckes. “It’s still not in our own hands, so we have to do all our preparations,” said Sven Ulreich.

Take the sting out of the game

It is not the table but the result and performance at last season’s runners-up that interests those at the record champions. The recent displays against Freiburg (4-0), Hamburg (6-0) and Besiktas (3-1) have Heynckes looking to Sunday with confidence. And despite those triumphs, the FCB head coach has been pleased with the way his team has self-aware and critical their own passing game and defensive work. “I think that’s incredibly positive.”

Bayern are expecting serious resistance from Leipzig on Sunday as the sixth-placed side look for a first positive result against FCB in their fifth competitive meeting. “They’ll come at us with aggression,” said Mats Hummels. “We have to resist that and take the sting out of the game so we can go about our business as best as possible.”

“A small prestige clash”

Heynckes labelled Leipzig "a top team. They’re a good package, have really good tactical focus, run a lot and have a lot of quick, athletic players. And up front they’ve got an abundance of creative players,” the FCB coach said of a team riding high on the back of reaching the Europa League quarter-finals, but who remain without a win in four Bundesliga games.

In terms of personnel, things are a little tense for Bayern in the final game before the international break. Manuel Neuer (foot), Kingsley Coman (ankle), Thiago (foot), Corentin Tolisso (shin) and Arjen Robben (trapped nerve) will all miss out on Sunday. It means James Rodriguez will return to the starting XI after overcoming his calf problem, as Heynckes announced in his pre-match press conference. The Colombian scored in the 2-0 win over Leipzig earlier this season and is ready for this “small prestige clash” on Sunday, as Thomas Müller described it. “We want to leave our mark there once again.”