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"Worked hard to get within striking distance!"

Head coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke to the press ahead of Saturday's game against FC Bayern München

Matchday 10 in the Bundesliga will feature a real top-of-the-table clash! On Saturday evening (18:30 CET), RB Leipzig will face off against record champions FC Bayern München. The match will see second-placed RBL take on the league leaders from Bavaria. 

Ahead of the game, head coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke about the match as well as giving an update on the squad. 

Julian Nagelsmann on...

...what makes Bayern different:

  • "FC Bayern München have the best squad in the league. That's a fact. They have invested a lot of money over the last years and have made some good signings. Several of their players have been playing together for many years now. There aren't many players that want to leave FCB in order to take their next step or to move to a bigger club. It's a different story for us and Borussia Dortmund. 

    Over the years, Bayern have become accustomed to success. Their trophy collection is a perfect example of this. This season, you can tell they are a bit tired at times. Like us, they have a long season behind them and only managed a short pre-season. In certain situations, their passes aren't as crisp as they might have been last season. But, they will not be lacking focus this Saturday. They were able to rest several important players in the Champions League mid-week, and are already guaranteed to advance heading into next week, unlike us. They will be looking to be the top dogs at home this weekend. 

    We can surpass Bayern in the table with a win and go top. But, that doesn't meant that we're on the same level as they are. No club are. For us, it's simply a nice snapshot. We've worked hard to get within striking distance and want to take advantage. 

    Last year, we came close to winning in Munich. If it all goes how I've imagined it, then we'lll have come up with the right game plan for this Saturday." 
     

...the fight at the top:

  • "Every athlete wants to reach the top. You play in order to achieve the maximum of what's possible. Otherwise, you wouldn't be an athlete. In the Bundesliga, there's a lot that needs to happen in order for a different team to finish first. Ever since a certain Hansi Flick arrived in Munich, things have taken another turn. The team have been able to take another step forward. 

    We will be brave, and have an ambitious plan and idea. My boys want to win the game and will give it their all. We also need to keep in mind that we have a must-win game in the Champions League against Manchester United next Tuesday and make logical and smart decisions. We want to win against FCB, but it's not a must. It's about finding the right middle ground, also with an eye on the several players we have that are currently carrying injuries or knocks.  

    As a coach, you need patience. If you only have players that play every game, then you need to expect to have some weaker phases in order to then take another step forward. Of course we want to win the title, but that's no different to what Uwe Neuhaus and Arminia want as well." 

     

...his fellow head coach, Hansi Flick:

  • "FCB have been able to undergo another tremendous development under Hansi Flick. They've especially improved in defence and in their counter-attack. Hansi is a great guy, who tries to connect with every player. He made several good decisions last season. It's hard to top what he accomplished. He won every title that there was to win. 

    He's a great guy and very kind, and I really enjoyed working with him in Hoffenheim. I'm very happy for him and all the success he's enjoyed." 

 

Stay warm this winter:

... Dayot Upamecano:

  • "Dayot has made a few too many errors leading to goals in the last weeks. Most of them were through simple mistakes. However, he's also had plenty of successful games. It's easy to forget how young he is. He needs to learn from his mistakes and improve. He definitely has the potential to become a world-class player. Upa is someone who is always looking to improve and to try new things. In order to grow, sometimes there have to be a few setbacks."

Squad update:

  • After the Champions League game in Istanbul, several players are carrying knocks, including: Alexander Sörloth, Dayot Upamecano, Kevin Kampl, Marcel Sabitzer and Nordi Mukiele. They will hopefully be fit in time for Saturday's games against Bayern München.
     
  • Christopher Nkunku will join up with the team on Friday afternoon and take part in final training. He has been training individually in Leipzig over the last few days, and is therefore fit and available for #FCBRBL. 
     
  • Benjamin Henrichs will be out for several weeks with a patellar tendon inflammation.
     
  • Hee-chan Hwang is yet to return after testing postitive for Covid-19. He is still recovering from the virus.
     
  • Lukas Klostermann (left knee surgery) and Konrad Laimer (right knee surgery) are currently in rehab training and not yet fit. Nagelsmann is hoping that Klostermann will be able to return to team training before Christmas, while there is yet to be an update in Laimer's case. 

 

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