DFB Pokal Final sees RB Leipzig take on Freiburg in Berlin
Saturday’s 79th edition of the DFB Pokal Final matchup will feature RB Leipzig against Bundesliga minnows Freiburg at the Olympiastadion in Berlin for a chance to raise the trophy.
Neither Freiburg nor RB Leipzig have ever won this competition so whichever team comes out on top will have a new trophy to add to its cabinet.
In Bundesliga play this 2021/22 campaign, the two squads split 1-1 draws. RB Leipzig finished the season in 4th place to claim the ultimate UEFA Champions League spot, edging out Union Berlin by 1 point.
Freiburg flirted with the idea of reaching the Champions League next season, but down the stretch couldn’t get the results they needed and finished 6th, 3 points behind Leipzig.
Key players to watch
There is no debate about who is the No. 1 guy at the top of the list: French International starlet Christopher Nkunku. The newly named Bundesliga Player of the Year for 2021/22 will have a huge influence in this match.
Finishing the year off with 20 goals and 13 assists, it’s safe to say that if Leipzig want to hoist the DFB Pokal trophy, the 24-year-old will have to be a factor in the match.
Hungarian International Dominik Szoboszlai will be a central figure in the Leipzig midfield, dictating the pace. The attacking midfielder had a nice Bundesliga campaign netting 6 goals and adding 8 assists.
In four DFB matches, he recorded 2 goals and 2 assists in only 168 minutes. He certainly will be leaned upon for a full 90-minute effort on Saturday.
Nico Schlotterbeck will be leading the back line for Freiburg in what will be his last appearance with the club. It was announced two weeks ago he was joining Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee for around €25 million.
The 22-year-old raised eyebrows this season with his play in the Bundesliga and can bet he will be on the German national team for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this fall.
Vincenzo quietly put together a nice season for Freiburg, netting a career high 9 goals in the Bundesliga and in five DFB Pokal matches he contributed 4 goals. Back in October, the reliable left wingback registered an assist against Leipzig in 89’ of action.
The way these clubs played this year, you could make a case for either RB Leipzig or Freiburg winning the DFB Pokal. I give the advantage to Leipzig, a club starving for a DFB Pokal title after being denied in the Final on two other occasions, including last year. I think the third time a is charm and with Bundesliga Player of the Year Nkunku and a smaller Bundesliga club in the way, this is the best chance for RBL to capture their first trophy in the club’s young 12-year history.