By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Four days ahead of their Champions League opener against FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich is facing a delicate stress test.
In the Bundesliga’s fourth round of matches, the Bavarians are crossing swords with national league rival RB Leipzig this Saturday evening.
The Bavarian’s trip turns into a special challenge as Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann, defender Dayot Upamecano, and midfielder Marcel Sabitzer return to their former club.
The farewell is ongoingly causing turbulences as Leipzig’s fans announced to give their lost heroes a painful welcome.
While Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff demanded fair treatment by his side’s supporters is the returning trio expecting an overheated atmosphere.
The Bayern coach spoke about his concern Leipzig fans won’t be overwhelmingly happy to see him again.
Accusations that Bayern once again used their overwhelming financial muscle to crush its domestic competition unfairly by signing its nearest rivals’ top players, something that hurt the fortunes of other clubs in the country too.
RB fans accuse Nagelsmann of having betrayed them after the 34-year-old had promised not to take any of Leipzig’s footballers with him.
But soon after Nagelsmann signed his Bayern contract, 22-year-old French international Upamecano followed for 42.5 million euros accompanied by Austrian international Sabitzer for a reported 15 million.
Bayern for many years has been confronted with accusations to follow the pattern to undermine his opponents to secure its leading role on the national stage.
Clubs like Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen are said to have made similar experiences. Robert Lewandowski (2014) and Mats Hummels (2016) joined Bayern from the Black and Yellows aside from coaches and top performers of other clubs.
Leipzig last season ended up second behind Bayern ahead of established clubs such as Dortmund. The club was seen as a new financially strong rival able to endanger Bayern’s exceptional position.
Upamecano joined Bayern to close the gap caused by the departure of David Alaba and Jerome Boateng. Sabitzer pushed his transfer by publicly announcing he wants to leave and help Bayern to update its midfield line.
Willi Orban, Leipzig defender and Lewandowski’s Saturday bodyguard, said: “It doesn’t make things easier to every season lose some of your best and restart. Our challenge is to develop our new arrivals to keep our level and stay a threat for Bayern.”
The 28-year-old Hungarian international demanded the help of the 34,000 fans allowed and his teammates to stop the big favorites from Bavaria including Lewandowski.
A satisfying result might not only please the clubs’ fans but provide additional motivation for Leipzig’s Champions League encounter next Wednesday when meeting Premier League giant Manchester City.