Freiburg vs RB Leipzig predictions: Tight final to go Red Bulls' way
There will be a new name on the DFB-Pokal trophy on Saturday evening as Freiburg and RB Leipzig face off in the showpiece finale of the German season.
Freiburg have had a historic season already and have never reached this stage, while Leipzig will be looking to secure their first win in the competition after finishing runners-up in two of the last three editions.
The pair played out 1-1 draws in both of their meetings in the Bundesliga this season and a similarly tight contest could well follow in this cup final.
Given the fact both teams have had gruelling seasons, they have surprisingly clean bills of health coming into this encounter.
For Freiburg, Yannik Keitel and Kevin Schade are doubts while Leipzig are sweating on the fitness of Amadou Haidara and Josko Gvardiol.
Leipzig had the joint-best defensive record in the Bundesliga this season, conceding 37 goals. They have also only allowed one team to score past them in their five DFB-Pokal ties.
Domenico Tedesco's side are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Freiburg, although three of those have ended 1-1.
Four of Freiburg’s five games in this year’s cup run have seen both teams score and they needed penalties to overcome Osnabruck in the second round.
Underdogs Freiburg are likely to have plenty of popular support in this game but face a tricky task getting anything out of this strong Leipzig team.
However, as demonstrated in recent cup finals, the cagey nature of the affair can often get the better of teams and extra-time is not out of the question.
If the Breisgau Brazilians are to have any success in the game, captain Christian Gunter may be the key creative source. The left-back is known for his playmaking — registering nine assists in this year’s Bundesliga — and could set up another goal in this crucial game.
For the Red Bulls, their route to goal is likely to come through star man Christopher Nkunku. The French forward recently picked up the Bundesliga Player of the Season award after registering 20 goals and 13 assists in the league this campaign.
Nkunku has managed 34 goals in all competitions and has attracted the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs as a result. The 24-year-old could be the difference-maker and find the net again in this encounter.