It may be one of the Bundesliga’s youngest rivalries, but boy do RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich know how to put on a show. With the runaway leaders edging ever closer to another top-flight title and Sunday’s hosts keen on a top-four finish, more big-game drama between these attacking masters is a certainty.
Just look what happened when the teams met at the Red Bull Arena on the penultimate day of last season. On an occasion when as many as nine goals were scored, Leipzig led by two not once, but twice, before Bayern netted three in the last six minutes to win. Indeed, those who witnessed the game knew they had experienced one of the finest footballing shows on the continent in 2016/17.
Watch: Take a deep breath, it's Leipzig 4-5 Bayern!
Already crowned champions prior to that game last term, this time around, Bayern can capture the Bundesliga title for a record 27th time, should they win and both Schalke and Borussia Dortmund fail to. It would be the earliest calendar date on which any team has managed the feat, with the 2014 Bayern crop doing so on Matchday 27, but on 25 March.
Hailed as one of the great stars of that aforementioned 5-4 spectacular on what was a glorious May afternoon last year, match-winner Arjen Robben recently promised there would be no less intensity from the Bavarians going into the home stretch of a season where winning every major honour is very much on the cards for Jupp Heynckes’ men.
"The decisive weeks take place in April … which is why we can’t afford to approach our Bundesliga games in a relaxed frame of mind," the Dutch dynamo explained. "We have to go to the limit all the time and to be totally focused."
Focused on earning what would be a first-ever win against the side aiming to raise a sixth straight Meisterschale, will be the division’s youngest outfit. With an average age of 23.8 years, Leipzig’s young guns will be hoping to win the shootout against the Bundesliga’s oldest team, Bayern clocking in at an average of 27.7 years.
Their pistols may be at the ready, but the Saxony-based side will need to ammo up, with Bayern the only Bundesliga team Ralph Hasenhüttl’s charges have failed to take a single point from during their two seasons among Germany’s footballing elite. Indeed, the 50-year-old coach has known only frustration when he’s come up against the men in red down through the years, losing all five Bundesliga games against Sunday’s opponents with Leipzig and, previously, Ingolstadt.
Watch: Leipzig's counter-attacking masterclass!
If the Austrian tactician is hungry to find a way to fix upon that first win against one of Europe’s finest, imagine how striker Timo 'Turbo' Werner feels! Germany’s go to goal-getter has lost eight times against Bayern in the Bundesliga, a run that stretches back to the forward’s days at Stuttgart. Those bad vibes were compounded when Werner missed the crucial spot-kick in Leipzig’s DFB Cup second round penalty shootout defeat against the mighty Bayern last October.
However, a crucial wrong righted last weekend will help to strengthen Leipzig minds in front of their home fans. A first clean sheet in seven games was achieved against Stuttgart, and defensive solidity will be key against the Bundesliga’s top scorers with 65 goals.
Staying strong at the back, looking to hit the key pass and scoring when it counts will likely be the home team’s game plan and they will be facing a player who provided all of the above and more when he lined out for the team from the East.
Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich was involved in eleven goals during his 53 league games for the club between 2013 and 2015, yet old allegiances will be forgotten once these teams do battle once more. Snacks and drinks at the ready, for this Leipzig vs. Bayern saga is set for one more exciting episode.