Leipzig ready to leap into Champions League

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When you are leading the league by 20 points before kick-off, it’s easy to see how the desire to win may have waned a bit. Bayern Munich were in cruise control before their trip to the Red Bull Arena but there wasn’t much to suggest that the Bavarian giants would arrive in such a lethargic mood. A clinical 3-1 win against Besiktas in the Champions League was further proof of the unwavering professionalism of Germany’s top side.

In contrast, Leipzig had toiled in Saint Petersburg against Zenit in the Europa League. They managed to hang onto a draw to progress to the quarter-finals.

Sandro Wagner’s early headed goal at the Red Bull Arena led many to believe another rout was on the cards. It was to be just the opposite as Leipzig sprung into life. Goals by Naby Keita and Timo Werner secured a 2-1 win but, in fairness, that scoreline flattered Bayern.

Leipzig battered Bayern and ran them off the park. The hunger and desire from ‘die Bullen’ exposed Bayern and made them look ordinary. They contested every tackle and won all the second balls. Seeing the Bavarians outplayed and outfought is becoming more and more of a rare sight. Such a performance from Leipzig would have given the chasing pack in the Bundesliga a lot to ponder. Could there be a chance to stop Bayern running away with the domestic without the same level of class?

Borussia Dortmund have a talented squad of players, some of whom have a point to prove. Since Chelsea let Batshuayi go on loan, the Belgian international hasn’t stopped scoring. Batshuayi’s record reads six goals in seven games for Dortmund with one assist. After a raw deal at Chelsea, ‘Batsman’ is on a mission to prove he was good enough to cut it at Stamford Bridge.

Jadon Sancho is another of Dortmund’s young stars that will be looking to make an impression. With the World Cup just a few months away, Sancho has the opportunity to catch Southgate’s attention.

The England manager has already shown he is looking to youth as the answer at the World Cup. Calling up James Tarkowski and Nick Pope to his squad for the international friendlies would not have been lost on Sancho. Tarkowski and Pope are as low as 5/4 and 7/4 on Oddschecker for a World Cup pick. Impressive displays between now and the end of the season could help Sancho force his way into the England squad.

Leipzig’s win against Bayern came at an opportune moment. Rolling over Bayern Munich would serve as a momentum builder for any side. In Leipzig’s case, the win means they are now only two points off a Champions League spot.

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