Just after the conclusion of the international break, Bayern Munich will travel northeast to take on RB Leipzig at the RedBull Arena in what could be a match that decides the title in Bayern’s favor, or keeps Leipzig well within reach. The Hinrunde encounter between the two sides finished in a thoroughly entertaining 3-3 draw at the Allianz Arena back in December and since then, Bayern has been knocked out of the DFB-Pokal and Leipzig has been knocked out of the Champions League, so both sides have had at least (a few) less matches to worry about.
Speaking on Bild Am Sonntag (tz), Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann spoke about how Die Roten Bullen are planning to try and thwart Robert Lewandowski, who is currently only five goals away from breaking Gerd Müller’s 40 goal, single-season record. It’s hard to argue just how phenomenal of a season the Polish ace is having, and Nagelsmann highlighted the fact that he’s able to score from a multitude of different (spatial) positions.
“What the man does is extraordinary. It has developed again in the last two or three years. He is less committed to the storm center, therefore even less tangible. To do this, he hits with the left, with the right, with the head, with a free kick or long-range shot,” Nagelsmann explained. This was on full display when Lewandowski scored a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over VfB Stuttgart with his left foot, head, and then right foot.
In the first meeting between the two sides this season, Leipzig was able to keep Lewandowski off of the score sheet, which not many sides have been able to do this season. Bayern signee Dayot Upamecano did an exceptional job keeping Bayern’s number 9 relatively quiet during proceedings despite conceding a total of three goals (Jamal Musiala, Thomas Muller x2). With the form that Lewandowski is in, Nagelsmann knows that keeping his quiet will be a massive focal point for Leipzig. “It’s hard to stop him completely, but we succeeded in the first leg,” he said.
As far as Bundesliga title implications, Nagelsmann didn’t want to say that the winner of this clash will 100% go on to lift the Meisterschale, but said it would be the game of the season for his side if they were able to take maximum points. “An important game, no question about it. Whether it’s the game of the season for us can only be answered afterwards. For me, that also includes a good performance. If this is correct and we act with the same conviction as in the first leg, then it can be a game of the season for us,” he said.