In Berlin on Thursday, RB Leipzig face Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal Final. Leipzig are looking for their first major trophy in their history, while Dortmund are looking for their fifth DFB Pokal.
Road to the Final
Leipzig saw off 1. FC Nürnberg in the first round and won 3-0 against Augsburg in the second round of the competition. Two goals from Yussuf Poulsen helped Leipzig win 4-0 against Vfl Bochum. In the quarter-finals Leipzig hosted Wolfsburg and managed to win the game 2-0. The semi-final against Werder Bremen ended 0-0 in normal time. A goal from Leipzig’s Hwang and Bremen’s Bittencourt, left the game at 1-1 at half time in extra time. Leipzig managed to win the game in the 121st minute when Emil Forsberg scored to send Leipzig to the final.
Dortmund started their cup campaign with a 5-0 win over MSV Duisburg. Away to Eintracht Braunschweig, they won 2-0 and in the third round they needed extra time to beat Paderborn. In the quarter-final, they managed to win 1-0 at Borussia Möchengladbach. The semi-finals saw them face 2. Bundesliga side Holstein Kiel, they managed to win the game easily with a 5-0 win.
Leipzig’s Tyler Adams and Christopher Nkunku are struggling with back injuries, while Lazar Samardzic is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Dominik Szoboszlai is still to make his debut for the club, and though he returned to training earlier this week, he is unlikely to feature.
Dortmund will be without Mateu Morey, who suffered a knee injury in the semi-final against Holstein Kiel and will be out for several months. Axel Witsel and Dan-Axel Zagadou are both unavailable. Marcel Schmelzer and Youssoufa Moukoko are also out injured. Marwin Hitz went off injured in the league game last weekend against Leipzig, so Roman Bürki will start in goal. Erling Haaland has missed the last two games, but returned to training this week, and Dortmund will be hoping the Norwegian can be involved.
The teams played each other last weekend. Dortmund went two goals up with goals from Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho. Leipzig scored in the 63rd and the 77th minute to level the game, but Jadon Sancho scored once more to win the game in the 87th minute. Four of the last five games between the sides have ended in Dortmund wins. Leipzig last beat Dortmund in 2017, when they won 3-2. This will be the first meeting between the sides in the cup.
In Leipzig’s last five games, they have won twice, once in normal time and the other occasion being the extra time win over Werder Bremen.
Dortmund have won all their last five games, scoring sixteen goals in those five games.
The game will likely be an attacking one. Leipzig will be looking for their first major trophy and Julian Nagelsmann will want to sign off in style before he takes over at Bayern Munich. Dortmund’s interim manager Edin Terzić will want to win a trophy before Marco Rose takes over the reigns in the summer.