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RB Leipzig will allegedly target Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard

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Has RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann found Bayern Munich’s weak link or is this leak a way to play mind games with Niko Kovac?

France v Andorra - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier Photo by Frederic Stevens/Getty Images

Per a report from Bild (behind the Bild+) paywall, RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann believes he has found Bayern Munich’s weakest link and it might not exactly be who you think. The 32-year-old coach has allegedly identified 2018 World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard as a player for his troops to target on Saturday.

Pavard, who has been used at center-back and right-back by Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac, has had some defensive lapses already in his tenure with the Bavarians. Should Kovac opt to push Joshua Kimmich up to a defensive midfield role, it is expected that Pavard would draw the start at right-back. If Kovac keeps Kimmich at right-back, Pavard will likely find himself on the bench with Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez expected to start at center-back.

Leipzig has been training with a “high intensity” press initiated by Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen, which is aimed to force turnovers deep in Bayern Munich’s own end by attacking any Bayern player who cannot maintain control. Nagelsmann said:

It’s important that we press with conviction.

The drawing captured in the tweet below was done by Bild reporter Stefan Krause as he understands the tactics:

With Werner and Poulsen expected to start at the top of a 3-4-1-2 formation, RB Leipzig will not lack a scoring punch. If things go to Nagelsmann’s plan it would likely be Werner applying the pressure to Pavard in hopes of forcing a turnover.

Nagelsmann might also be looking to take advantage of Marcel Halstenberg’s prowess to push his way up the field in hopes of drawing Pavard’s attention away from Werner or Emil Forsberg. If he is not at the top of his game, Werner, Forsberg, and Halstenberg could be a very difficult trio for Pavard to track.

Whatever the case, it does not appear that RB Leipzig wants to play this game with a passive approach and also has no intention of ceding its position at the top of the table.