Kovac defends RB Leipzig's structure ahead of pivotal Bundesliga meeting

RB Leipzig should be respected in the Bundesliga, according to Niko Kovac, whose Bayern Munich side could win the title on Saturday.

Published : May 09, 2019 19:52 IST

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac does not believe RB Leipzig get the respect they deserve.

Bundesliga leaders Bayern face Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday, with a win enough to end the challenge of Borussia Dortmund and seal a seventh straight title.

Ralf Rangnick's side will also be the Bavarian giants' opponents in the DFB-Pokal final on May 25, as Kovac hunts a domestic double in his first season at the Allianz Arena.

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The former Eintracht Frankfurt coach believes too much negativity is aimed at Leipzig, with the ownership of the club – who are third in the Bundesliga and have secured a return to next season's Champions League – still criticised in Germany.

"There's a lot of structure behind it, there are a lot of clubs that have money, no matter where they get it," Kovac told a news conference.

"Everything else about the club is always seen as too negative. Why can't we even acknowledge something positive?

"We are not talking about any team, but a very good team with a very good coach."

The title is in Bayern's hands, but Kovac - who confirmed Manuel Neuer will not be fit to feature on Saturday - has warned his side against complacency, citing the Champions League semi-final comebacks by Liverpool and Tottenham.

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"Anything less than success is failure, I know that, these 10 months were very educational, very intense, and if it was a little quieter at times, it would not be so bad," Kovac continued.

"Believing we have won the championship is not a sure thing. The last two nights have shown that anything is possible in football.

"We've worked for a long time on how to approach these kinds of situations. We were nine points and plenty of goals behind. Now we can take the decisive step and win the title."

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