Werder Bremen VS RB Leipzig, RB Leipzig win with 1-3

Posted Fri, 30 Apr 2021 08:40:14 GMT        

Match Time:5/1/2021 02:30 Saturday  (GMT+8)

Germany Cup --  Werder Bremen   VS   RB Leipzig

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Werder Bremen take on RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal semi-final on Friday, with the visitors looking to win their first ever major trophy.

 

Only Bayern Munich have won the German cup more times than Bremen's tally of six, meanwhile, with Florian Kohfeldt hoping the competition can provide a welcome distraction to their current slump in the league.

 

Match preview

Indeed, Bremen's 3-1 defeat at Union Berlin at the weekend extended Die Werderaner's losing streak to seven league matches, leaving them only one point ahead of the relegation playoff position with three games remaining.

 

After a fairly even first half, Union Berlin increasingly found gaps in Bremen's defence, with Joel Pohjanpalo displaying a clinic of ruthless finishing via a quickfire hat-trick inside 17 minutes. As such, Theodor Gebre Selassie's late header was nothing more than a consolation goal.

 

In truth, Kohfeldt's side have had a beneficial route to the semi-final, having managed to avoid any Bundesliga opponents along the way. Carl Zeiss Jena, Hannover 96, Greuther Furth and Jahn Regensburg have all been comfortably dispatched without conceding a single goal.

 

Moreover, Bremen were thrashed 4-1 by Leipzig less than three weeks ago in the league, so they clearly face a tall order in terms of overcoming Nagelsmann's side.

 

Kohfeldt will be hoping that his players can channel their club's greater history and heritage in this competition to their advantage, with the board's public vote of confidence in the 38-year-old earlier this week likely calming any understandable uncertainty after a dreadful run of results.

 

Leipzig could be distracted, too, after this week's confirmation that Nagelsmann will replace Hansi Flick as Bayern manager next season. After much speculation, the 33-year-old will officially join the Bavarians on July 1 following a successful two-year spell in charge of Leipzig.

 

Of course, the extent to which that success is gauged may depend on whether Nagelsmann can deliver Leipzig their first ever major trophy between now and the end of the current campaign.

 

Bayern's 2-0 defeat to Mainz 05 on Saturday means that there is still a glimmer of hope for Leipzig to win the Bundesliga, although that remains an incredibly unlikely scenario given that Bayern only require one win from their last three matches to seal a ninth successive title.

 

It is the DFB-Pokal, then, that Nagelsmann will view as a more realistic trophy to target. Like their forthcoming opponents, Leipzig have not yet conceded a goal in this season's competition, beating Nuremberg, Augsburg, VfL Bochum and Wolfsburg along the way.

 

Should his players perform anywhere close to the best of their abilities during Friday's semi-final, they will almost certainly have a final in mid-May to look forward to given Bremen's current malaise. However, Nagelsmann will be keen to avoid any complacency or disgruntlement within his ranks after an unsettling week for the club.

 

Werder Bremen DFB-Pokal form:WWWW

Werder Bremen form (all competitions):LWLLLL

RB Leipzig DFB-Pokal form:WWWW

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):WLWDLW

 

Team News

Bremen will remain without Omer Toprak, Leonardo Bittencourt, Nick Woltemade and Luca Plogmann due to injury.

 

Milos Veljkovic should return to Kohfeldt's back three after missing the trip to Berlin, with Christian Gross likely to make way.

 

Otherwise, the Bremen boss appears to have little alternatives to the XI which was outclassed by Union Berlin, although Jean-Manuel Mbom may be considered to shore up the midfield with his industry.

 

Leipzig, meanwhile, welcomed Konrad Laimer back to their matchday squad against Stuttgart on Sunday, with the midfielder missing the entirety of the campaign so far due to a serious knee injury.

 

The 23-year-old will be hoping for some minutes later in the match, but it is almost certainly too soon for Nagelsmann to throw him in from the start.

 

Dayot Upamecano, Marcel Halstenberg and Marcel Sabitzer will almost certainly be restored to the starting XI, with Ibrahima Konate, Willi Orban and Amadou Haidara likely to make way, while Nordi Mukiele and Emil Forsberg will also be hoping to be involved.

 

Yussuf Poulsen and Dominik Szoboszlai remain sidelined with thigh and groin issues respectively.

 

Werder Bremen possible starting lineup:

Pavlenka; Veljkovic, Moisander, Friedl; Gebre Selassie, Mohwald, Mbom, Eggestein, Augustinsson; Sargent, Rashica

 

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:

Gulacsi; Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Mukiele, Kampl, Sabitzer, Angelino; Nkunku, Olmo; Sorloth

 

Werder Bremen 1-3 RB Leipzig

 

Werder Bremen VS RB Leipzig, RB Leipzig win with 1-3