DFB-Pokal: RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich – Olympiastadion at 19:00 GMT+1 live at BT Sport
Bayern Munich were crowned Bundesliga champions for the seventh successive season last Saturday after slaughtering Eintracht Frankfurt with four second-half goals. Departing duo Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery both came off the bench to grab goals as Niko Kovac’s men secured top honours and a hard-earned title.
The Bavarians now switch their attention to the DFB Pokal final – their 23rd appearance in Germany’s showpiece cup final. Bayern have reached the final in six of the last nine seasons, winning on four occasions, and they’ll be desperate to sign off the campaign in style, especially after such a woeful start.
Kovac’s men were beaten in three of their opening 12 (W6-D3-L3) games before recovering to table W18-D3-L1 in their final 22 fixtures to topple Dortmund and hit the summit. Still under intense pressure from the Bayern hierarchy, the Croatian head coach is looking to win back-to-back DFB-Pokal titles.
The current Bayern boss beat the Bavarians at this stage last season with Eintracht Frankfurt, meaning Kovac has now won 16 of his 17 cup matches as a coach, only losing the 2017 final against Dortmund. Meanwhile, skipper Manuel Neuer, James Rodriguez and Javi Martinez all remain injury concerns.
Leipzig can be competitive
Like Bayern, RB Leipzig made a relatively inauspicious start to 2018/19. Die Rotten Bullen had bagged W9-D4-L4 before Christmas to fall away from any potential title challenge, although Ralf Rangnick’s group roared back to life in the New Year, tabling W10-D5-L2 despite tailing off in the final fortnight.
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Leipzig’s late results paled into insignificance with Champions League football secured and no better than third place achievable. Understandably, Rangnick turned his attentions towards the club’s first-ever DFB Pokal final, even resting 10 players for last weekend’s campaign concluder at Werder Bremen.
Sure, there are a couple of slight concerns about RB’s efforts against the breakaway top-half of the table this term in all competitions, going W9-D4-L5, though the last of those defeats came in that contest at Bremen and four of the five overall losses arriving by a solitary strike.
Asian Handicap approach
So there’s certainly appeal in supporting Leipzig with a +1.25 start on the Asian Handicap line at 1.72. Bayern boast the slight edge in the head-to-heads since the start of last season (W2-D2-L1) but the meetings have been tightly-contested with the two encounters this term featuring just one-goal in total.
Only two of the last six DFB Pokal finals have seen more than one goal separate the sides over 90 minutes and I’m happy to support the underdogs with a healthy handicap in the capital this Saturday night.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: RB Leipzig +1.25 at 1.720
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
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