Whoever wins, the signs are good for both to secure a place in next season’s Champions League: Only 15 Bundesliga clubs have amassed 36 points at this stage of a season, with 12 going on to win the title, two finishing second and one finishing fourth — which would still be enough for a Champions League play-off.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness admitted earlier this week Leipzig’s Ralph Hasenhuttl is “one of three coaches” his club are considering “should we revert to a German-speaking coach in future”.
That does not mean Carlo Ancelotti is under any pressure, just that Bayern have taken note of Hasenhuttl’s coaching career and would be keen to speak to him once he has gathered more experience in the game.
Leipzig’s director of sport Ralf Rangnick is not so sure Hoeness has done his research thoroughly, however.
“German-speaking applies to Ralph only to a certain extent,” he said, jokingly, of the Austrian’s linguistic abilities. There can be little doubting his other abilities or the job he has done in just six months in Leipzig.
Timo Werner may be making a name for himself at Leipzig this season, with nine goals in 15 games making him the top German striker in the Bundesliga, but his record against Bayern Munich does not read so favourably.
In five previous meetings with the Bavarians for former club Stuttgart he lost each time — and has yet to score against the record German champions.
Indeed, his team only scored twice in those five previous meetings.
One of the major bugbears countless Bundesliga fans have about Leipzig is their rise from the amateur leagues to the top of the professional game fuelled by the investment of Dietrich Mateschitz’s Red Bull drinks empire.
There is no getting around the fact RB — or RasenBallsport — Leipzig do not have the same tradition as clubs such as Hamburg or Werder Bremen, yet it cannot really be said that their four promotions in seven seasons are down to money alone.
They spent a combined €40m on Naby Keita, Oliver Burke and Timo Werner in the summer, bringing in three players who were not high up on the shopping lists of Europe’s biggest brass.
By comparison, Bayern splashed €35m on established Germany international Mats Hummels and the same sum on Euro 2016 winner Renato Sanches, significantly outspending their rivals in the summer transfer window and flexing a financial clout which appears to be more accepted by the rest of the league.
Money talks, but only to a certain extent.
Not only can Bayern’s experience be measured in their record 25 Bundesliga titles, it is also evident in terms of the average age of the side Ancelotti has sent into action this season.
At an average age of 27.9, Bayern have the eldest side in the Bundesliga while Leipzig have the youngest, at 24.1.