Bayern Munich vs RB Leipzig: DFL Supercup Preview

Bayern Munich set to face RB Leipzig in DFL Supercup 2023 on Saturday. (Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images)
Bayern Munich set to face RB Leipzig in DFL Supercup 2023 on Saturday. (Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images) /
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It seems like just last week Dortmund gifted Bayern Munich their 11th straight Bundesliga title, and in doing so, punched Bayern’s ticket to the DFL-Supercup against the Pokal winners RB Leipzig. Saturday’s Supercup will be a rematch of last season’s curtain raiser in which the Bavarian giants won a high-scoring match.

Much has changed in the last calendar year for both sides, most notably the managers. Rewind to last season and it was Julian Naglesmann vs Domenico Tedesco battling for the first trophy of the season. Neither manager would survive the 22/23 season with their respected club with Thomas Tuchel taking over for Naglesmann and Marco Rose for Tedesco. As both teams are preparing for a Bundesliga title challenge, Saturday’s game will be a great chance to showcase both managers’ new squads.

Bayern Munich

If Bayern Munich’s preseason form is any indication, Tuchel should have his team prepared. Following the 2-1 loss to Manchester City, Bayern followed up with three straight wins, most notably a solid performance against both Liverpool and Monaco. In all four of their preseason matches, Tuchel was able to use the club’s new signings of Konrad Laimer and Kim Min-Jae. I would expect both to get the start in Saturday’s match, with Laimer pairing with Joshua Kimmich (both former RB Leipzig players) in the midfield and Min-Jae with Matthijs de Ligt to anchor the backline.

With Yann Sommer now in Italy, Sven Ulreich took over responsibilities in goal against Monaco. Being the only experienced goalkeeper left, it’s safe to assume Ulreich would take the place in goal as Bayern continue their search for a goalkeeper in the market given Neuer’s prolonged rehab.

Now that Alphonso Davies seems to have put the muscular injuries that plague him the second half of last season behind him, he becomes the easy pick to get the start at left back. Despite Pavard’s refusal to renew his contract, he still remains part of the Bayern squad. Through the preseason, Tuchel seemed willing to give Pavard his opportunities as a center-back, but given Leipzig’s attack and their willingness to press and play in transition, Pavard may start as right-back over Mazraoui due to his superior defensive qualities.

Moving into the attack, Musiala has secured the attacking midfield role. Just watch him play. It’s a joy to see a young player succeed and grow in each game. To Musiala’s left, expect Gnabry to get the start and offer an additional central attacking presence much like he did to finish last season as he carried the goal-scoring efforts in the final games of the 22/23 season. Opposite Gnabry, Sane gets the start. I’ve wrestled with this one as I could see the start going to Coman as well. What sells me on Sane is his two goals over the last two preseason games against both Liverpool and Monaco.

Leading the line, I’m going with the youngster Tel. LET THE KID PLAY!!! As the Harry Kane saga seems to be coming to a conclusion, this is a great opportunity for Tel to show he can be relied upon moving forward and needs to remain in the squad and not be loaned out.

"Predicted Starting XI (4-2-3-1)UlreichDavies- De Ligt- Min Jae-PavardLaimer-KimmichGnabry-Musiala-SaneTel"

RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig enters the 23/24 campaign looking to capture more of Red Bull’s transfer magic. Having lost starting center-back Josko Gvardiol to Manchester City, starting midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai to Liverpool, starting forward Christopher Nkuknu to Chelsea, starting midfielder Konrad Laimer to Bayern, and important squad player Andre Silva to Real Sociedad, I expect Leipzig will be looking to their newcomers to make an immediate impact.

New arrivals Lois Openda from Lens, Christoph Baumgartner from Hoffenheim, Benjamin Sesko and Nicolas Seiwald from Salzburg, and Chadaille Bitshiabu and Xavi Simons from PSG, all will be looking to feature very quickly for Marco Rose and defending Pokal champions.

Similar to Bayern, Leipzig lost their first preseason game before winning three games in a row. Looking at their preseason games gives a bit of insight into what Rose plans to play Saturday.

I expect Janis Blaswich to continue in goal after taking over for Gulacsi last season. In front of Blaswich, look for Willi Orban and Mohamed Simakan to get the start at center-back. To the left is David Raum and opposite him will be Benjamin Henrichs starting at right back.

Centrally, expect Rose to run his “box” midfield with Kevin Kampl and Amadou Haidara playing the defensive midfield roles, while Dani Olmo and newcomer Xavi Simons push higher into the attack.

Completing the 4-2-2-2, Timo Werner gets the start along with Salzburg newcomer Benjamin Sesko. It would not surprise me to see Lois Openda start opposite Werner, as both Sesko and Openda played with Werner during pre-season games. Given Sesko’s previous relationship within the Red Bulls system in Salzburg, I think he’s more prepared for the Red Bulls pressing and transition game. Also given his size (6′ 4″) he can hope to match up physically with the aggressive Bayern backline and give de Ligt and Min-Jae problems.

"BlaswichRaum-Orban-Simakan-HenrichsKampl-HaidaraOlmo-SimonsWerner-Sesko"

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Predicted Score

Bayern Munich 3-2 RB Leipzig (Goals: Sane, Tel, *Set Piece Goal)

Sane continues his good goal-scoring form from the pre-season. Tel gets on the board as Bayern bosses possession and he finishes a tap-in. Set-piece coach Anthony Barry proves his worth with a set-piece goal.