MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 09:06:29| >> :600:1122412:1122412:
May 13, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Olympiastadion Berlin
RB LeipzigRB Leipzig
DortmundBorussia Dortmund
Olmo (71')
Upamecano (45'), Olmo (81')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Sancho (5', 45'), Braut Haaland (28', 87')
Can (15'), Bellingham (25'), Dahoud (50'), Sancho (81'), Hummels (90')

Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Dortmund - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's DFB-Pokal clash between RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

RB Leipzig take on Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on Thursday.

Dortmund are aiming to win the competition for the fifth time in the club's history, having reached the final in six of the last 10 years, while Leipzig will be hoping to go one better than when they lost to Bayern Munich in their only appearance in the final in 2019.

Match preview

Dayot Upamecano in action for RB Leipzig on February 6, 2021© Reuters

With manager Julian Nagelsmann departing Leipzig to join Bayern in the summer, the 33-year-old will be hoping to leave the club having guided them to their first ever major trophy, as well as winning his first as a manager.

The two sides played out a thrilling dress rehearsal in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with Jadon Sancho's 87th-minute strike securing a 3-2 win for Dortmund as they completed a league double over Nagelsmann's side.

The England winger was in superb form throughout the encounter, cutting inside from the left flank to double BVB's lead after the break after Marco Reus had smashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range to break the deadlock in only the seventh minute.

However, Die Roten Bullen are made of sterner stuff nowadays, with Lukas Klostermann pulling one back with a well-placed header from a corner before Hwang Hee-Chan raced in behind and unselfishly laid the ball on a plate for Dani Olmo to level the proceedings, only for Sancho to have the last laugh.

What may concern Nagelsmann most is that Erling Braut Haaland did not take part in the game due to injury, yet his side still could not gain a positive result.

The Norway striker does remain a minor doubt for Thursday's final, so Leipzig will desperately be hoping that Haaland's muscle issue continues to keep him on the sidelines, otherwise they will probably start the match as underdogs despite their loftier position in the league table.

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho scores their third goal against RB Leipzig on 8 May, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, given his side's recent form as well as their positive results against Leipzig this season, Edin Terzic will feel increasingly confident of following in the likes of Jurgen Klopp's and Thomas Tuchel's footsteps to become the fifth Dortmund manager to lift the DFB-Pokal.

Neither side have conceded a goal in normal time of this season's DFB-Pokal, though, so it seems unlikely to be as open and entertaining as Saturday's league meeting.

In theory, Leipzig could still have caught league leaders Bayern, but the encounter certainly had less riding on it for them compared to Dortmund, who crucially leapfrogged Eintracht Frankfurt into the Champions League qualification positions.

Terzic must ensure that his defence remains resolute, then, as that tends to be their Achilles' heel on the big occasions. Should Haaland be passed fit, there is certainly very little wrong with the other end of the pitch, particularly against a side who prefer to operate with a high defensive line like their forthcoming opponents.

Having lost three successive DFB-Pokal finals between 2014 and 2016 before finally lifting the trophy for a fourth time in 2017, Terzic will be desperate not to remembered as another Dortmund manager who fell at the final hurdle ahead of Marco Rose replacing him as BVB's head coach in the summer.

RB Leipzig DFB-Pokal form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Borussia Dortmund DFB-Pokal form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Erling Braut Haaland in action for Borussia Dortmund on April 10, 2021© Reuters

Nagelsmann revealed in his pre-match press conference that Angelino has been dropped from Leipzig's squad due to disciplinary reasons.

The 33-year-old is unlikely to be able to call upon Tyler Adams either due to a back issue, while Lazar Samardzic is out for the rest of the season with a meniscus injury.

Christopher Nkunku has recovered from a back injury, however, and could be forced to start out of position in place of Angelino at left wing-back.

January transfer window signing Dominik Szoboszlai is yet to make his debut for the club due to a groin injury, and despite returning to training earlier this week, the Hungary winger is unlikely to be risked in such a high-profile match.

Nordi Mukiele should replace Benjamin Henrichs at right wing-back from the side which lost to Dortmund on Saturday, with Marcel Halstenberg potentially coming into the defence in place of Willi Orban in order to provide more balance as a left-footed central defender.

Yussuf Poulsen and Alexander Sorloth will compete to lead the line in place of Hwang, with the Norwegian likely to win the battle having had more game time in recent matches.

Dortmund, meanwhile, are sweating over the fitness of Haaland, who Terzic revealed had suffered from a build-up of fluid around the region of his muscular injury.

"But the fluid is getting less and less now," said Terzic during his post-match press conference on Saturday, so it would appear that the Norway forward should be available to return for a match of such importance.

If so, Giovanni Reyna or Thorgan Hazard are set to drop to the bench to make way.

Mahmoud Dahoud was substituted against Leipzig due to a muscular injury, but Terzic said this was precautionary and that the midfielder should be available for the final.

Either way, Jude Bellingham is likely to replace him alongside Emre Can in midfield, having served his one-match suspension after being dismissed in BVB's previous league game against Wolfsburg.

Marwin Hitz will not be so fortunate, however, after incurring a knee injury which forced him to be substituted at half time against Nagelsmann's side. Roman Burki will replace him in goal.

Mateu Morey sustained a horrific knee injury during the semi-final win against Holstein Kiel and could be out of action for several months, while Youssoufa Moukoko, Axel Witsel, Marcel Schmelzer and Dan-Axel Zagadou remain unavailable and unlikely to feature again this season either.

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Mukiele, Sabitzer, Kampl, Nkunku; Olmo, Forsberg; Sorloth

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Bellingham, Can; Reyna, Reus, Sancho; Haaland

SM words green background

We say: RB Leipzig 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

We can envisage a closely fought final between arguably two of Germany's three best teams at this moment in time, with Dortmund narrowly coming out on top against Nagelsmann's side for the third successive meeting.

Both sides have been hugely impressive during this season's competition, so it would be little surprise if the match went all of the way into extra time. As the game opens up, though, that is more likely to favour Dortmund with their speed in transition and extra decisive quality in the final third.

Top tip

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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