RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann will aim for the first major trophy of his managerial career when his charges face Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal final tomorrow.
The final will be broadcast on KBC Channel 1 TV kicking off at 9.30pm East Africa Time,tomorrow,thursday May 13th 2021..
Following a crucial 3-2 victory over RB Leipzig on the weekend, Borussia Dortmund face RB Leipzig popularly known as ‘Die Roten Bullen’ once again at the iconic Olympiastadion.
Embroiled in a fascinating top four race in the Bundesliga, the Black and Yellows are looking for their fifth cup title in the club’s history, having last won the competition back in the 2016/17 campaign.
Barring a third round fixture against Borussia Monchengladbach, Dortmund’s route to the final has been rather forgiving, with the Bundesliga giants notably beating Holstein Kiel by a whopping 5-0 margin in the semi-final. Leipzig, in contrast, have faced three Bundesliga opponents in their five matches so far. They even had to rely on a late winner from Emil Forsberg to beat Werder Bremen in the semi-final.
For Julian Nagelsmann’s troops, it will be an opportunity to secure the first major silverware in the club’s history. The east German giants have already lost the Bundesliga title to Bayern Munich and with nothing left to play for, they are expected to go all out in search of the DFB Pokal, knowing a triumph on Thursday could be an ideal way to cap off Nagelsmann’s successful spell at the Red Bull Arena.
Borussia Dortmund will be sweating over the fitness of Erling Haaland heading into this game, as the Norwegian forward has missed the last two games due to an injury.
He has trained with the squad this week, making him a favourite to start for the Black and Yellows, most likely at the expense of Thorgan Hazard.
Haaland’s return should also offer a bit more freedom for Marco Reus to operate freely in his central attacking/wide attacking hybrid
Giovanni Reyna, meanwhile, looked drained in that win over Leipzig. And with Jude Bellingham back in the fray, it appears the American whizkid might have to settle for a place on the bench.
It paves the way for Bellingham to renew his midfield partnership with Mahmoud Dahoud and Emre Can, as Edin Terzic switches to a 4-3-3.
Julian Nagelsmann will be tempted to make one change in defence by replacing Willi Orban with Ibrahima Konate after the experienced defender struggled in dealing with Marco Reus in the last match.
Konate, therefore, should be reinstated in the Leipzig backline, alongside Dayot Upamecano and Lukas Klostermann. These three pack quite a punch in set-pieces, and it won’t be surprising to see Nagelsmann putting more emphasis on such situations this midweek.