Fourth-placed RB Leipzig host league-leaders Bayern Munich in Matchday 6’s mouth-watering game of the weekend (kick-off: 6.30pm CEST). The latter are in imperious form and remain unbeaten in the Bundesliga this campaign – here are five reasons why Thomas Tuchel’s men will get the better of one of the pretenders for their Bundesliga title.
1) Strong start to the campaign
Leipzig produced an impressive display to defeat Bayern 3-0 in the Supercup back in August, but that loss has only spurred on the record champions. Since that clash, they are unbeaten in all competitions, racking up four wins and a draw in the league and victories in their DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League encounters against Preußen Münster and Manchester United respectively.
Tuchel’s side have also shown their versatility to prevail in contrasting circumstances, too – they came from behind to edge out bogey side Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 away from home thanks to a late Mathys Tel header, but also hammered Bochum 7-0 in a clear show of strength. The visit to the Red Bull Arena is a tough task, but in this form, you’d be a brave person to bet against Bayern picking up all three points.
Watch: Highlights of Bayern's 7-0 Bochum hammering
2) Attack on fire
Goals win games and, if the Bavarians continue to find the back of the net at their current rate, it promises to be another trophy-laden campaign. They already lead the Bundesliga’s goalscoring charts with 18 goals in their opening five matches, also mustering 110 shots – in contrast, Leipzig have managed 64 - with the win versus Bochum an example of what they can do when at the top of their game.
Their xG currently stands at 15.6, another division high and, had it not been for some stunning Lukáš Hrádecký saves in the 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern would have found the back of the net on even more occasions. Münster were dispatched 4-0 in the DFB Cup, while Manchester United also conceded four at the Allianz Arena in Europe, more examples of their frightening offensive power.
3) King Kane hits ground running
Kane arrived in Munich amidst plenty of fanfare and expectation following his big-money move from Tottenham Hotspur. The 30-year-old had previously proven his pedigree in the English Premier League and at international level – he is England’s all-time record goalscorer and captain – and it is fair to say he has lived up the hype already in Germany.
His first five Bundesliga games have garnered seven strikes, second in the division only to VfB Stuttgart's Serhou Guirassy (10), while he netted his first Bayern hat-trick against Bochum. Kane was also on target against Man United, and has added three assists to his Bundesliga goal tally, a number bettered only by Leipzig’s Xavi Simons (four). The Englishman was billed as one of world’s best players upon his arrival, and it is fair to say he hasn’t disappointed.
Watch: All of Kane's Bundesliga goals in 2023/24
4) Leipzig’s home Bayern struggles
As one of the country’s leading clubs, Leipzig are a very tough nut to crack on home soil, possessing a winning record in their corner of Saxony against close to every other team in the German top flight. There is only one exception – Bayern.
On the seven occasions the Bavarians have made the journey to the Red Bull Arena in the Bundesliga, they have suffered just one defeat, while they also triumphed on penalties in the second round of the 2017/18 DFB Cup and also clinched last year’s Supercup with a 5-3 victory in Leipzig. Such a streak is difficult to erase from memory, and it could well be playing on Marco Rose and his charges’ minds in the build-up to kick-off.
5) Plans starting to take shape
The last meeting between the two, of course, ended in a comfortable Leipzig victory in August’s Supercup. It was a chastening night for Bayern, although there are plenty of reasons why they will be much more prepared for this encounter. After all, Minjae Kim was making his debut at the heart of the back four, while Kane had just completed his transfer and could therefore only manage 24 minutes from the bench, joining the action with his side already trailing 2-0.
In the weeks since, they have been able to adapt to the team’s style of play, helping the likes of Tel and Leroy Sane hit top form. Once Bayern start winning, they become a juggernaut that is almost impossible to stop – Leipzig may have caught them cold once, but they won’t do a second time.
The Bundesliga top scorer race
Bayern's Harry Kane leads the likes of Guirassy, Openda and Sané in the race to be the Bundesliga's Torjägerkönig.
Harry Kane's English record and the MD12 talking points
Harry Kane has already overtaken fellow Englishmen Kevin Keegan and Jadon Sancho for single-season top-flight goals in the Bundesliga, but there was plenty more to look out for in an action-packed Matchday 12…
Kane sets English scoring record in a Bundesliga season
Harry Kane has become the most prolific English goalscorer in a single season of Bundesliga football - on Matchday 12!