The German Bundesliga returns this week following the winter break, with RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich going head-to-head at Red Bull Arena on Friday night.
With 15 games in the books, Bayern Munich sit at the summit of the Bundesliga table – four points clear of second-place SC Freiburg.
What happened around the two teams’ during the winter break? Bayern Munich’s first task was to find a goalkeeper replace tehe injured Neuer. This task was accomplished with great difficulty, as Yann Sommer was signed from Mönchengladbach at the last moments. With this, Ulreich will probably be out of the starting lineup. The question is, since the Swiss was cleared on Wednesday, will he be in the line for Friday’s opener? I don’t think Coach Nagelsmann risks this, so Ulreich, who lacks self-confidence, can still stand on the goal line. In addition, Lucas Hernandez is still injured, which is quite a sensitive loss. De Ligt and Upamecano are standard central defenders, but Davies and Pavard are more attacking players than full-backs, so the two wing will be vulnerable.
On the other side, Péter Gulácsi (gk) is still injured, and the defensive efficiency of Janis Blaswich, who is in his place, is 67.9%, which is a poor statistic. Guardiol is having his last moments in Leipzig, as whole England is wanted for him, so the Leipzig defense seems a little confused to me. Marco Rose has reverted to his usual Red Bull tactics, so the defense will also be more porous.
So now the weak point of both teams is the defense! For example, in their only friendly match, Bayern conceded 4 goals against Salzburg, who play a similar style like Leipzig, while Leipzig also conceded 4 goals against Frankfurt. So there is only one solution: to score more goals than the opponent.
Both teams had excellent offensive line: Musiala and Sane vs Olmo and Szoboszlai. That’s why the only question I have is, will the goals come already in the first half? The pick is more risky, because Leipzig sometimes get stuck, but now everyone is so fired up with the new season that I’ll take the two or three goals for sure already in first half.
Meanwhile, RB Leipzig find themselves third – one point inside the Champions League places and six points behind Bayern.
Leipzig chalked up an eight-game unbeaten streak in the Bundesliga before the World Cup, registering six wins and two draws in the process.
Marco Rose’s side also return from the break on a four-game winning run in the league, having dispatched Bayer Leverkusen, Hoffenheim, Freiburg and Werder Bremen.
The Red Bulls have been especially strong on home soil in recent times, avoiding defeat in each of their previous 13 home games across all competitions.
It is also worth noting that Leipzig have won each of their last eight home games, although they will struggled to extend that run when Bayern Munich come to town.
Indeed, Bayern find themselves atop the Bundesliga standings after losing just one of their opening 15 league encounters this season.
Like Leipzig, the Bavarians racked up an eight-game unbeaten run in the league before the break – recording seven wins and one draw along the way.
Bayern are the Bundesliga’s top scorers by a considerable margin this term, having netted 49 goals in 15 outings. That means they average 3.3 goals per game in 2022-23.
Given that Julian Nagelsmann’s side have achieved ten successive wins across all competitions, they will be confident of claiming all three points on Friday.
Head-to-head: Leipzig have only managed to win one of their last 15 meetings with Bayern in all competitions, suffering nine defeats in the process.
Bayern have won each of their previous four matches against Leipzig, scoring a total of 13 goals in that time. Needless to say, that is not good news for the Red Bulls.
Team news: RB Leipzig will be without Abdou Diallo, David Raum, Willi Orban, Christopher Nkunku and Peter Gulacsi on Friday.
Bayern have a lengthy injury list, too, with Manuel Neuer, Matthijs de Ligt, Sadio Mane, Bouna Sarr, Lucas Hernandez and Noussair Mazraoui all set to miss the trip to Leipzig.
Sure, Leipzig enjoyed an impressive run of results in the lead-up to the break. But Bayern have more than enough firepower to end Leipzig’s hot streak.
With that in mind, Betgaranteed predicts that Bayern Munich will score over 2.5 goals on their way to dispatching RB Leipzig on Friday.