German Cup final: Bayern chases double, Leipzig seeks 1st title
Bayern's head coach Niko Kovac reacts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt in Munich, Germany, May 18, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/LUKAS BARTH-TUTTAS
Leipzig's head coach Ralf Rangnick prior to the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig at Borussia-Park in Moenchengladbach, Germany, April 20, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/SASCHA STEINBACH
Berlin, May 24 (efe-epa).- Bayern Munich is seeking a local double in the German Cup final against RB Leipzig, which is chasing its first title in the club’s history.
A glimpse at the Bundesliga statistics this season will tell you that Bayern has the best attacking line with 88 goals, while Leipzig has the best defense that only has conceded 29 goals.
During Saturday’s game, Bayern is most likely to take the initiative, while Leipzig will be keen to secure its area, awaiting the opportunity to carry out counterattacks in which the speed of Timo Werner and Youssuf Poulsen will be decisive.
For Bayern, Bundesliga champion, the local double will cap off a season full of ups and downs and would increase the odds of coach Niko Kovac to stay at the club, given that his future is not secured.
Kovac will have to do without midfielder Leo Goretzka who has been struggling with a muscle issue that forced him out of the Bayern’s Bundesliga finale against Eintracht.
Javi Martínezreturned to the competition - as did goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer, who could replace Goretzka.
Kovac could play what became his ideal starting lineup since beating Borussia Dortmund 5-0, which provided to be decisive in the race for the league title.
Since then, Kovac has made changes to the team only when forced to by either injuries or sanctions.
James Rodriguez, who resumed team training after recovering from a muscle injury, is likely to start on the bench along with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in their final match with Bayern.
Robben and Ribery are expected to be brought on at some point in the second half, as already happened on the final Bundesliga matchday when they bade farewell to Allianz Arena by scoring one goal apiece.
At the other end of the field, Leipzig’s coach Ralf Rangnick recalled their last Bundesliga game against Bayern in which they grabbed a point despite the Bavarian team’s domination.
"In defense we were good. Offensively, we could have been better," he said.
"We needed to possess the ball more to reduce the defensive effort."
Rangnick is one of the names that have been tipped to replace Kovac in case the latter does not stay at Bayern.
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi; Klostermann, Konate, Orban, Halstenberg; Laimer, Kampl; Sabitzer, Forsberg; Poulsen and Werner.
Bayern: Neuer; Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba; Thiago, Javi Martínez; Gnabry, Müller, Coman; and Lewandowski.
Referee: Tobias Stieler.
Venue: Berlin’s Olympiastadion. EFE