BAYERN MUNICH travel to RB Leipzig in Saturday night's standout showdown from the Bundesliga. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB) is on-hand to preview his favourite fancies.
RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich | Saturday 3rd April 2021, 17:30 | BT Sport
For an international break we were, as always dreading, it was pretty good wasn’t it!?
Boring, predictability was replaced by minnows downing the elite no better epitomised than in North Macedonia’s 2-1 victory over Germany – apologies to the trader who matched that outcome at 70.0 on the exchanges if you are reading this!
Portugal, fifth favourites for the forthcoming Euros, needed an own goal to scrape past FIFA’s 108th ranked team Azerbaijan as well as having to come from behind to beat 98th ranked Luxembourg, while sixth ranked Spain had a draw with a Greek side 47 places below them before needing an injury time goal for a come from behind win against number 89 Georgia.
So yes, all in all a very entertaining and enjoyable fortnight of international action……unless you were Hansi Flick, a Bayern Munich supporter or the man himself who caused such pain to the aforementioned by picking up a knee injury whilst in action for Poland against Andorra last weekend.
A Bayern statement said: “Robert Lewandowski has suffered sprained ligaments in his right knee. The striker will be out for around four weeks.”
It is a major blow to Lewandowski's chances of breaking Gerd Muller’s 1972 single season record of 40 goals in the German top flight, having bagged 35 times from 25 Bundesliga appearances and an equally massive blow for the Bavarians as they aim to fend off their nearest challengers with eight games remaining this campaign, they sit four points clear of their hosts at the top of the table with a win here all but confirming another title.
The prolific Polish goal predator has contributed a massive 45% of Bayern’s 78 league goals and is widely regarded as the World's best number 9 – any side would miss him however, it would be disrespectful to the incredible talent in the remainder of the squad to suggest they are a one-man team and to see them priced as big as 19/13 it is a temptation to play them on the rare occasion we can at odds against for a domestic battle.
However, with the last four league battles ending all square with two nil-nil's alongside this season’s 3-3 added to the fact that Leipzig have failed to win any of the last six meetings between the two I have to wonder if the side formed as recently as 2009 have a psychological barrier to overcome even with the absence of their opponents star marksman.
Coming up against a manager in Julian Nagelsmann who has a fine record against them I suspect that the defending champions would sign for a stalemate now ahead of their midweek UCL clash with PSG so the draw at odds of 14/5 with Bet 365 offers plenty of value and is a bet I am prepared to take.
For my second and final selection I am going to attempt to pinpoint who will offer the goal threat in the absence of Lewandowski.
The likes of Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and ex Stoke man Choupo-Moting will all be vying to fill the void, but with all at odds around the 2/1 mark for a goal anytime, my eyes were drawn to a standout price for a player who has proved himself on the biggest of stages on more than one occasion.
Leon Goretzka opened the scoring for Germany in their 3-0 victory over Iceland last weekend and has three goals from his last seven competitive fixtures, also bagging the first goal in Bayern’s recent 3-1 win at Werder Bremen.
Odds of 5/1 for the 26-year-old midfielder who has seven goals in all competitions to his name this term, to score at anytime seem on the large side but given that of his six strikes for his club side two have been openers with three more the second goal of the game I am prepared to take a chance on the very nice looking 16/1 on offer from Bet 365 for him to be the first goalscorer here and play it each way.