Analysis: Leipzig faces toughest challange of the season against Bayern

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By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- All of a sudden, things have changed from bad to worse for RB Leipzig. A short time ago, the East-German side seemed on the way to create a surprise in German football. Now the team of Julian Nagelsmann is facing several crucial challenges.

This Sunday, the reigning German champion Bayern Munich is waiting. But the Bundesliga's top game is by far not the only thread lying ahead. Much more is Rasenballsport in danger to lose its minimum target, to qualify for next season's Champions League campaign.

The fact is, the current crisis couldn't come at a worse point.

But what is making a promising squad struggling?


"We can't get things done in a game as we practice them in daily training," Nagelsmann complained. When losing to Eintracht Frankfurt twice in the national league and German Cup and drawing to Moenchengladbach, RB couldn't manage to dominate the game.

The team failed to try to break up the opponents' solid defense. Considering the performance of the first season, half pundits claim Leipzig has lost its easiness. In five of the six last games, Leipzig delivered a bad first half, always conceiving a goal.

Currently, Leipzig isn't using its big chances. Nagelsmann demanded improvement regarding the tactical performance as RB isn't closing spaces.

"Suddenly things seem to get out of balance in Leipzig" the Swiss newspaper Neuer Zuricher Zeitung headlined. The Sueddeutsche is assuming Leipzig is approaching the Bayern game in critical condition.


"We would have preferred to face Bayern in the awareness we can afford to lose points against them," RB striker Timo Werner stressed.

The German international demanded from his team, to learn to deal with pressure and expectations. "We haven't been in the role of the hunted one very often; this is what it takes to get along with to win something."

Leipzig missed its first season goal, to reach the Cup final and might now gamble away its chances to win the national title. Not escaping the downward trend could end up beyond the international qualification spots.


Nagelsmann is admitting he is sometime overstressing his team.

After losing the league top spot, the 32-year-old failed in trying to initiate a wake-up-call. He demanded a commitment from his team. "We have to decide if we want to see the top of the mountain or have a rest halfway and enjoy the view."

Former German international called it a fatal message to leave out the team's best scorer Timo Werner when facing Frankfurt in the Cup duel.


The German record international, 150 times capped Lothar Matthaeus, is predicting dark times. "Everything but a clear victory of Bayern would be a surprise," the 58-year-old is assuming.

The former Bayern captain said he couldn't see Leipzig surviving in its current condition Bayern's current compactness, game-organization, self-confidence, and motivation.

Bayern is way ahead when it comes to determination, quality, robustness, and self-confidence. Leipzig, he underlined, is acting without a convincing plan and lacking a satisfying strategy "as the team doesn't seem to have a leading figure providing a reliable frame." Enditem

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