Kim Min-Jae (l.) vs. Lois Openda (r.) is just one key battle to keep an eye on in the Supercup. - © DFL
Kim Min-Jae (l.) vs. Lois Openda (r.) is just one key battle to keep an eye on in the Supercup. - © DFL

Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig: Supercup key battles


Bayern Munich take on RB Leipzig in the Supercup on Saturday. looks at some of the key areas the game will be won or lost.

Bayern are the defending and record 10-time Supercup champions, but Leipzig went undefeated against them in the Bundesliga last season, drawing 1-1 at the Red Bull Arena before coming away from Munich with a 3-1 win in May.

Bayern beat Leipzig 5-3 in last year's contest, but it appears to be wide open between the sides coming into the 2023 edition. looks at some of the key battles.

Jamal Musiala vs. Xaver Schlager

Some of the best players in European football play across the two squads, but perhaps the brightest talent is Jamal Musiala's. The Bayern youngster was the Bavarians' most potent attacking force in the Bundesliga last season with 12 goals and 10 assists, despite his tender 20 years and the fact he tends to line up in midfield.

Watch: All of Musiala's goals and assists last season

Xaver Schlager looks like the most likely to be tasked with anchoring Leipzig's midfield, with Nicolas Seiwald still settling in since joining from Red Bull Salzburg and Amadou Haidara injured, but he might wish he had both alongside him against a player with three goals and two assists in seven career meetings with the Saxony upstarts.

Kim Min-jae vs. Lois Openda

Konrad Laimer might have been another option in Leipzig's midfield had he not left for Bayern this summer, but the biggest signing so far has been Kim Min-jae's from Napoli, the South Korea centre-back arriving as a Serie A champion who was the toast of European football before plumping for Bavaria.

Timo Werner (l.) and Lois Openda (r.) form the fastest front pairing in the Bundesliga. - IMAGO/Picture Point LE

Kim has an impressive top speed for a big man, the 6'3" defender clocked at 31.1 km/h with Napoli last season, but Leipzig have signed a speed demon of their own in Lois Openda, and already had one on the books in Timo Werner. Both have been timed significantly quicker than Kim, and if Leipzig start with both, they can expect to have significant joy on the counter-attack.

Alphonso Davies vs. Benjamin Henrichs

Speaking of fleet-footed players, only Karim Adeyemi and Sheraldo Becker have ever clocked quicker top speeds among current Bundesliga players than Bayern left-back Alphonso Davies, who managed a blink-and-you'll-miss-it high of 36.51 km/h in 2020. The Canadian's physical prowess is accompanied by no little skill, though, and Davies' three successful take-ons per 90 minutes last season were a Europe-wide best among left-backs.

Benjamin Henrichs will line up opposite him on Saturday, and he is a full-back who also likes taking part in the attacking phases of play. But Davies is the prefect player to exploit the space in behind him, and has the recovery pace to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to him.

Harry Kane vs. Willi Orban

Last, but by no means least, is Harry Kane against Willi Orban

England's record goalscorer Kane joined Bayern from Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday and has been registered in time to take part in the Supercup - although whether he starts the game is another matter. A three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, Bayern could do worse than throw him in.

Willi Orban might hope that they don't, but the Leipzig centre-back won't back down from a challenge as he leads the team out in Peter Gulacsi's injury-enforced absence. With Josko Gvardiol having left for Manchester City, there is extra weight on the Hungarian's broad shoulders.