Football

Leipzig not sweating over Bayern clash

RB Leipzig's director of sport Ralf Rangnick says his club will be celebrating an outstanding year no matter how it ends tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Leipzig head to powerhouses Bayern Munich knowing a win at Allianz Arena will see them end 2016 top of the Bundesliga.

A draw would see them remain behind Bayern only on goal difference while defeat would see them fall just three points behind

But, even if they lose, they will still have at least a six-point advantage over the chasing pack at the midway stage of their first-ever season in the top flight.

"Sometimes I do have to nip myself to see if it really is all true," Rangnick told German sports magazine Kicker.

"This year has been outstanding - it could not have been any better.

"No matter what happens on Wednesday, this has been an outstanding year for everybody who has worked here."

Rangnick has therefore taken some of the pressure off his team ahead of the top-of-the-table clash, and coach Ralph Hasenhuttl is equally unconcerned about the outcome tomorrow, preferring to tell his players to go out, enjoy themselves and give it their best shot.

"It's been an incredible, sensational season," he said at a press conference.

"We are level with Bayern, we're 10 points ahead of Dortmund and have 20 points more than teams who are still playing in the Champions League."

All the pressure will therefore be on Carlo Ancelotti's Bayern, and their chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects them to show the upstarts from East Germany who is boss.

"When you are used to playing against the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona, then you are also ready for when you play against Leipzig," he said.

All eyes will thus be trained on a David-versus-Goliath clash which sees both antagonists start on an unusually level playing field.

Bayern's squad has a market value of 582.25 million euros (S$874m) compared to Leipzig's 81.78m euros.

"It's a fine way to end the year for the whole of German football and it would be a fine way to end it for us too - if we win," said Bayern's Thomas Mueller. - PA SPORT

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