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Nagelsmann hopes Leipzig break goal duck at ‘less focused’ Bayern

Berlin (AFP) – Julian Nagelsmann Bayern Munich are showing signs of decline as his RB Leipzig side try to break their goal duck at the Allianz Arena in Saturday’s top-of-the-table Bundesliga showdown.

Second-placed Leipzig head to Munich two points behind leaders Bayern, who have not lost at home in any competition for over a year.

“In some situations, Bayern don’t seem quite as keen, no longer quite as focused,” due to this season’s dense fixture list, Nagelsmann said on Friday.

Nagelsmann’s men then host Manchester United on Tuesday with a last 16 place in the Champions League at stake.

First up, Leipzig will try to earn their first win in Munich at the fifth attempt having yet to score at the Allianz Arena.

Leipzig can usurp Bayern as league leaders, “but that doesn’t mean we are on an equal footing,” insisted Nagelsmann.

“We have a good plan, the boys are up for it, but it will still be very difficult,” Nagelsmann added.

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who has already scored 15 goals this season, and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer were both rested for Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid in preparation.

– Leipzig Logic –

Leipzig striker Alexander Sorloth, who turns 25 on Saturday, is chasing his first Bundesliga goal after finally ending his drought in the Champions League.

After 10 games without finding the back of the net, the Norway forward was hugely relieved to claim Leipzig’s last-gasp winner at Basaksehir Istanbul on Wednesday.

“Basically, it would be nice if he could score another one,” added Nagelsmann after Sorloth had a penalty attempt saved in last weekend’s home win against Arminia Bielefeld.  

Curiously on their four previous games at the Allianz Arena, Leipzig lost 3-0, 2-0 and 1-0 before holding Bayern to a goalless draw in Munich last February.

“When you follow it logically, it could be that we will win,” joked Nagelsmann. 

The 33-year-old was full of praise for counterpart Hansi Flick and said he was “a very, very fine bloke.” 

He steered Munich to last season’s treble, but says Leipzig can not afford to have too much respect for the Bavarians.

“We want to be courageous and take something from the game – the best case is three points, but you can’t guarantee that especially against with the record champions.”

In Munich, Flick returned the compliment by praising Nagelsmann, who took Leipzig to the semi-finals of the Champions League in August.

Leipzig have “gone through an unbelievable development” and under Nagelsmann’s stewardship they “play very variable football. I value him very much as a coach,” said Flick.

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