Christopher Nkunku (3rd l.) leads the way for DFB Cup holders RB Leipzig as they prepare to take on Bayern Munich in the Supercup. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH
Christopher Nkunku (3rd l.) leads the way for DFB Cup holders RB Leipzig as they prepare to take on Bayern Munich in the Supercup. - © /

5 reasons RB Leipzig will beat Bayern Munich in the 2022 Supercup


Buoyed by a first major trophy success last season, morale remains high among a group of RB Leipzig players led by the formidable Christopher Nkunku. presents the case for Domenico Tedesco's men as they eye Supercup victory against the mighty Bayern Munich...

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1) Christopher Nkunku

The Bundesliga Player of the Season for 22021/22 is back to bring his magic to another domestic and European campaign with Leipzig. After weighing in with an astounding 20 goals and 13 assists in 34 German top-flight matches last term, one of France's newest internationals is raring to go in a season that once again promises so much for the 24-year-old, who recently penned a two-year contract extension at the Red Bull Arena.

Dazzling all with his skill, pace and accuracy in front of goal along with unselfish play that saw many of his teammates benefit during an immensely busy season for Leipzig, Nkunku has the perfect chance to continue adding to his exploding reputation in the Supercup.

Watch: Nkunku - Bundesliga and Leipzig superstar 

"I still don’t see my work here as finished," Nkunku warned as Leipzig continued their preparations for a new campaign. "We did really well as a team last season, but there’s still more to come. I want to continue the success with RB Leipzig,” the six-time France international added.

Nkunku played a huge part in helping Leipzig qualify for the Supercup following their success in the DFB Cup, a trophy they lifted after a penalty shootout win against Freiburg in Berlin last May. The team from the former East Germany were trailing in the Olympiastadion showpiece until their French forward netted an equaliser, while he also scored with Leipzig's first penalty of the subsequent shootout.

In all, Nkunku scored four goals and provided three assists in six games during that successful Pokal run, while his 35 goals and 20 assists in 52 matches across all competitions in 2021/22 is reason enough to know that in Nkunku, Leipzig have a potential match-winner in Saturday's Supercup.

2) That winning feeling

Leipzig's rise to the top of the game has been meteoric and now that they have a first major trophy to show for their efforts, a hunger for more silverware has taken hold. Having previously finished as runners-up in the 2019 and 2021 DFB Cup finals, Die Roten Bullen displayed their determination to stay the course in their hunt for honours, which duly arrived following the aforementioned victory against Freiburg.

"We showed our team spirit, mentality and togetherness in the DFB Cup final; it was particularly special [and] I am absolutely confident that will continue in the coming season," defender Lukas Klostermann said.

At one stage last season, Leipzig were gunning for a top-four Bundesliga finish (which they achieved) and were keenly challenging for German Cup and UEFA Europa League glory. Although their run in the latter tournament ended agonisingly at the semi-final stage, the experience gained brought this group of players closer together and they will form a formidable unit that will prove a match for anyone this season. Bayern could be first to find that out.

"We worked really hard last season and have given ourselves the chance of winning another trophy in [Saturday's] game," Klostermann said, in quotes appearing on Leipzig's website. "You can look at the Supercup a little bit like the icing on the cake of the DFB Cup win, so we want to give our all in the game and come out on top. It’s a trophy that we absolutely want to win."

DFB Cup winners Leipzig pose with the trophy. - THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP via Getty Images

3) Riding a Tedesco wave

Leipzig were in 11th spot and stuttering when former Schalke coach Tedesco took the reins last December. Overseeing a fine 4-1 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach in his first game in charge, Die Roten Bullen began a steady march back up the standings and would eventually grab that all-important top-four finish that ensured Champions League football.

In all, Tedesco has clocked 30 games in the Leipzig hotseat thus far, winning 19 and losing just five. Having masterminded both his and the club's first major trophy, the man who led Schalke to second place in the Bundesliga in 2017/18 has proven he has what it takes to make it gold medal number two this weekend.

"I think winning a title like that has an effect on you," the Italy-born tactician explained to Leipzig's website. "We were able to travel through the city with the trophy and we could see the joy on the faces of the fans and their families and children. That is really fun and makes us really proud. We are aware that we’re creating something great here and that people are growing with the club – it makes you very happy to see."

There could be more smiles on those same faces in the days ahead.

Coach Domenico Tedesco led Leipzig to their first major trophy success. - /

4) Home advantage

As DFB Cup winners, Leipzig will host the Supercup at the 47,000 capacity Red Bull Arena. Last season's fourth-placed Bundesliga finishers boasted the third-best home record in Germany's top division last season, winning eleven games and scoring 43 goals.

Tedesco's men may only be able to speak of one solitary victory against Bayern down through the years, but it came in Saxony back in March 2018, when Naby Keita and Timo Werner were on target in a 2-1 victory.

Still present in the Leipzig ranks from that day, Peter Gulacsi, Konrad Laimer, Willi Orban, Kevin Kampl, Emil Forsberg and Yussuf Poulsen can attest to what it takes to beat the Bavarian juggernaut on home soil.

With Saturday's venue set to be a sell out for what is certain to be a spectacular curtain raiser to the new season, the home supporters will be roaring their team on to what they hope will be a maiden Supercup success.

Watch: Leipzig seeking seventh heaven

5) Keeping the band together

Although Leipzig have not had a hugely busy transfer window, the consensus at the club is that keeping what was a successful group of players together from a superb, trophy-winning season is the way to reap more rewards in the campaign ahead.

Nkunku signing a new deal offers an even bigger lift than any top-class arrival could provide, while with other exceptional talents like Dominik Szoboszlai, Angeliño, Kampl, Andre Silva and Dani Olmo sticking around means it could be a case of familiarity breeding success. Throw in the fact that forward Alexander Sorloth is returning to the mix following a loan at Real Sociedad and with new arrival Xaver Schlager bolstering the midfield, extra layers of intrigue are added.

"The squad hasn't changed that much and we’ve kept a good basic structure to the team," Klostermann said. "It doesn’t matter to us how much other teams have added to their squads, I know that we have a brilliant group of players and now we need to show that on the pitch."

"The team has hardly changed," Nkunku added. "There was no great upheaval this summer and that’s a good thing. We’re happy to be together, as we always were. It’s just a lot of fun here at RB Leipzig!"

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