Football Predictions

German Cup final: RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich preview, predictions & expected XIs

By Harry Edwards

Published: 18:15, 22 May 2019

Bayern Munich will be looking to win the DFB-Pokal for a record 19th time when they face RB Leipzig on Saturday.

It will be Bayern’s 23rd appearance in the final of the German Cup and could see the Bundesliga champions end the season with yet another double. Meanwhile, RB Leipzig are making their final debut and will be looking for a first ever major trophy.

Read on for RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich live stream options, team news, predicted XIs, stats and TV channel info.

When is RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich?

Competition: DFB-Pokal

Venue: Olympiastadion Berlin

Date: Saturday, 25 May

Kick-off: 7:00 PM BST

Where can I watch live?

Though the German Cup final will not be broadcast live on TV in the UK, residents can watch Bayern Munich vs RB Leipzig on the German Football YouTube channel.

Head-to-head

Given RB Leipzig’s recent ascent up the German football ladder, the two sides have only faced off seven times. Bayern Munich have dominated proceedings with five wins compared to Leipzig’s sole victory last season.

RB Leipzig wins: 1 Draws:Bayern wins: 5

Match preview

Although the Bundesliga ended last week, there is still one more match to come from the German football season – the DFB-Pokal final.

It pits Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig up against each other, two teams with very different histories and successes. After wrapping up the Bundesliga once more, Bayern are now looking to win a league and cup double for a record 12th time, last achieving the feat in 2015/16.

The German champions were beaten finalists in last season’s DFB-Pokal, losing to Eintracht Frankfurt – managed by current Bayern boss Niko Kovac, who will be looking to deny Leipzig the chance of repeating his heroics.

It also represents the third final in a row for Kovac, who also led his Frankfurt team to the Olympiastadion in 2016/17, though they were beaten by Borussia Dortmund on that occasion.

Should Leipzig upset the odds, they will be taking home a first major trophy and first piece of silverware since 2012/13 when they won the Saxony Cup and Regionalliga Nordost in the fourth tier of German football, a sign of the rise the Roten Bullen have enjoyed.

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Does Niko Kovac have a future with Bayern?

Despite leading Bayern Munich to a seventh-consecutive Bundesliga title, Niko Kovac has seen his credentials questioned in a difficult year for the German champions. Kovac’s debut campaign at the Allianz Arena started poorly, with Bayern as low as fifth come the start of December.

A refresh was therefore planned for the summer, with the likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery set to leave, while incoming transfers have seen Bayern focus on youngster stars such as Jann-Fiete Arp.

But Kovac’s name has also been mentioned as a potential victim of the refresh, with the Bayern board reportedly unhappy with their former player. However, should the hierarchy listen to the Bayern fans and players, Kovac will be in charge of Bayern next season. In Bayern’s title-winning victory over Frankfurt last weekend, fans at the Allianz Arena chanted Kovac’s name, while after the game Niklas Sule expressed his support.

“I have seen that the coach is being called into question,” he told reporters. “But I think that we gave the right answer on the pitch today.”

Will this be Timo Werner’s final RB Leipzig game?

Another final participant whose future at his current club is in doubt comes in the form of RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

The 23-year-old was the spearhead of RB Leipzig’s arrival to the Bundesliga in 2016, helping them to finish second in their debut campaign. And his stock has only grown since, becoming one of the most highly sought-after young strikers in Europe.

Clearly paying attention to the interest, Werner has told RB Leipzig of his wishes to leave the club. And with just one year remaining on his current deal, it seems likely Leipzig will cash in now while they can.

But, RB Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick has revealed no club has come forward with an offer for the German international.

“Our position is that if he does not renew the contract, he should change clubs,” he told reporters.

“He has let us know and implied that he will not renew the contract.

“He would first have to agree with a club and this club would have to contact RB, which has not happened to my knowledge.”

Team news

Resting most of his first-team players last week, Ralf Rangnick will expect to have a full-strength squad to choose from on Saturday – though Kevin Kampl remains a doubt.

Bayern Munich will be waiting to hear whether first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer can return to the starting line-up after missing the past six games with a calf injury. James Rodriguez and Javi Martinez are also doubts, but Leon Goretzka is expected to return.

Predicted Line-ups

1. No sentiment from Kovac

Saturday’s match is likely to prove too soon for Manuel Neuer in his quest for fitness, meaning Sven Ulreich will continue in goal for the German champions.

If Kovac selects an unchanged team from the one which beat Frankfurt 5-1 to retain the title, there is no place in the starting XI for either Arjen Robben or Franck Ribery, though the pair will surely feature from the bench.

Predicted Bayern XI (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Sule, Hummels, Alaba; Goretzka, Thiago; Gnabry, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski.

2. Upamecano to keep his place

Ralf Rangnick rang the changes for Leipzig’s final Bundesliga game of the season with third place already secured and is expected to return to his strongest XI for the cup final.

That means starts up front for Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen with the latter being completely rested last time out.

However, young centre-back Dalot Upamecano could continue in defence after returning from a long-term injury in the 2-1 defeat to Werder Bremen.

Predicted RB Leipzig XI (4-4-2): Gulacsi; Klostermann, Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Sabitzer, Demme, Adams, Forsberg; Poulsen, Werner.

Squawka Prediction

Bayern Munich ended the Bundesliga season with a flourish and should have too much for the final debutants, who will put up a good fight. 2-0 Bayern.