MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 06:46:08| >> :600:2229116:2229116:
Apr 30, 2021 at 7.30pm UK at wohninvest WESERSTADION (Bremen)
Werder BremenWerder Bremen
RB LeipzigRB Leipzig
Bittencourt (105+1')
Hee-chan (93'), Forsberg (120+1')
Haidara (35'), Kampl (99'), Gulacsi (101')

Preview: Werder Bremen vs. RB Leipzig - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's DFB-Pokal clash between Werder Bremen and RB Leipzig, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

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

Werder Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt pictured on February 13, 2021© Reuters

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.

RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann pictured on February 16, 2021© Reuters

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:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Werder Bremen form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

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

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

Team News

Werder Bremen's Omer Toprak reacts on the ground on January 9, 2021© Reuters

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

SM words green background

We say: Werder Bremen 1-3 RB Leipzig

We expect a similar outcome to the recent league meeting between the two sides, with Leipzig comfortably booking their place in next month's final.

Bremen may feel slightly alleviated by playing in a cup competition rather than the league, but Nagelsmann's side's ability to dominate possession should prove the difference providing they take the chances which come their way.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Todays Game Header Right
CBayern MunichBayern34246499445578
2RB Leipzig34198760322865
3Borussia DortmundDortmund342041075462964
5Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt341612669531660
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen3414101053391452
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin34121485043750
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach341310116456849
12Mainz 0534109153956-1739
14Hertha Berlin34811154152-1135
15Arminia Bielefeld3498172652-2635
16FC Koln3489173460-2633
RWerder Bremen34710173657-2131
RSchalke 04Schalke3437242586-6116

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