BERLIN (Reuters) - RB Leipzig have the perfect opportunity to turn the tables on Bayern Munich after their bitter midweek German Cup defeat when they face the champions again in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Leipzig were left fuming on Wednesday after being denied a clear penalty, having forward Naby Keita sent off, then going down 5-4 on penalties in the second round of the Cup.
“This defeat is very painful,” said Emil Forsberg, who was brought down just inside the box in the 24th minute but not given a penalty.
“It is normal for it to hurt, but on Saturday we have another big game and we are really looking forward to that.”
His recent fine performances have helped Leipzig notch a four-game winning run in the Bundesliga to move within a point of leaders Borussia Dortmund and Bayern, who are both on 20.
“We have to go beyond our limit on Saturday,” said Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer. “It will not be easy to play them again after such a match but the good thing is that Bayern have also played 120 minutes.”
The Bavarians had been criticised for a perceived lack of fitness under sacked coach Carlo Ancelotti but Mats Hummels said the midweek Cup game would not affect Saturday’s game in Munich.
“We are currently in a better physical condition,” he said in a veiled dig at his former coach.
Bayern have got back to winning ways since Jupp Heynckes took over from Ancelotti this month, winning both league games and a Champions League encounter.
Their improved fitness will be put to the test in a busy run of fixtures, with a trip to face Celtic in the Champions League next week before facing Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund a few days later.
Bayern struggled at times in Leipzig but should be more comfortable on Saturday in front of the home crowd.
Dortmund, ahead of Bayern on goal difference, travel to Hanover 96 hoping to stem a dip in form in recent weeks that has seen them fail to win their last two league games.
Their 5-0 demolition of lower-tier Magdeburg in the German Cup on Tuesday, however, suggests they may have rediscovered their scoring form from earlier in the season.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Peter Rutherford