Created on 2021-04-02 at 20:36 PM
The international break is over and FC Bayern head into April with an absolute cracker. On Saturday afternoon (live text and webradio commentary from 12:30 pm ET on fcbayern.com), the Reds face RB Leipzig in the matchday's standout fixture. "We can take a decisive step if we win in Leipzig," said Thomas Müller, underlining the importance of the match in an interview. "These are the games we all want to play in," commented Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who is also looking forward to the clash. Check out our preview for everything you need to know about the top game of Matchday 27.
In the interview, Thomas Müller talks about the upcoming weeks:
The situation for FC Bayern
"We're now on the final straight. Every player knows that the weeks in April and May are the ones when a lot gets decided," said Hansi Flick, giving his team a little reminder at Friday's press conference ahead of the crunch match. "There will be two first-class teams facing each other. It will definitely be exciting," assured Choupo-Moting. With a win against their closest rivals from Leipzig, the men from Munich would extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points. Flick hopes that his team can build on their past performances. FCB laid down a marker before the international break with an impressive performance in the 4-0 win over VfB Stuttgart while a man down. "Before the international break, I was very happy with how we played. That's exactly what we need in Leipzig," demanded the head coach.
Enjoy the best images from Bayern's final training session before travelling to Leipzig in our gallery:
The opponents: RB Leipzig
"If we don't win or draw, the season isn't over, but the title race is," said RB head coach Julian Nagelsmann on Friday, underlining how important the match is for his team. Leipzig struggled to a 1-0 win in Bielefeld before the international break despite dominating the encounter and remain unbeaten in eight straight league games (seven wins, one draw). However, like Bayern, while preparing for the weekend the team currently lying in second place also had to contend with numerous players being away on international duty. "Many of my players don't get back into training until Friday. That's why the preparation in terms of content wasn't that great this week. But we're not nervous. After all, Bayern are in a similar situation," added Nagelsmann.
Team news for Leipzig vs. Bayern
The news of Robert Lewandowski's absence (ligament strain in his right knee) dampened the anticipation somewhat for the top match. "I feel sorry for the player," said Flick, who wasn't ready to reveal how he'll adjust his line-up. "We'll have to see how we solve it, and we have players who can play in that position. It's a challenge for us all and we'll face it." The 56-year-old head coach will also have to do without the suspended Alphonso Davies and Jérôme Boateng as well as long-term absentee Corentin Tolisso (ruptured tendon). Instead, Niklas Süle, who had to return from international duty early with muscular problems, is fit to play. Goalkeeper Ron-Thorben Hoffmann (knee injury) was able to resume training with the ball during the week.
Nagelsmann will be without defenders Angeliño (muscular problems) and Marcel Halstenberg (Self-isolating after a positive COVID-19 test). Kevin Kampl is also suspended due to picking up a fifth yellow card. Konrad Laimer is not yet fit enough to play against FCB. Future Bayern player Dayot Upamecano, however, will be available after recovering from a muscle injury.
Team news, tactics and more: You can watch Hansi Flick's pre-match press conference before the game at Leipzig (with English translation) here:
What the coaches say
Hansi Flick: "The crucial thing is to go into the game with the right attitude. We have players who have often shown their worth in matches like these. In a game like this, of course, a little bit of luck is always important. (...) We have to be proactive when out of possession. Leipzig have very quick players. At this level, it's important that every player is at his best."
Julian Nagelesmann (RB Leipzig head coach): "Basically, Bayern can handle these games extremely well and show their opponents their limits. We have to be bold and do one or two things better, especially when it comes to taking our chances. Even without Lewandowski, FCB will still travel to Leipzig with a world-class team. It's extremely difficult to defend against them and get through their lines - even though two important defensive men, Jérôme Boateng and Alphonso Davies, will be missing."
If you want to know more about the game against Leipzig, check out our facts and stats: