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Leverkusen logo
Bundesliga | Gameweek 34
May 18, 2024 at 2.30pm UK
BayArena
Augsburg logo

B. Leverkusen
2 - 1
Augsburg

Boniface (12'), Andrich (27')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Komur (62')
Uduokhai (82')

Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Augsburg - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Augsburg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ninety minutes away from completing an unprecedented unbeaten Bundesliga season, Bayer Leverkusen host Augsburg at the BayArena in Saturday's closing act.

Xabi Alonso's men put in a five-star display against VfL Bochum last weekend to rack up 50 games without defeat, while their visitors can still gatecrash the European party.


Match preview

Bayer Leverkusen players celebrate their 50th undefeated match on May 12, 2024© Reuters

Records have been sent tumbling month after month during Leverkusen's historic 2023-24 campaign, which is just three games away from finishing with the Bundesliga champions suffering a grand total of zero defeats in every single competition.

After completing another quintessential late fightback in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final with Roma, Alonso's troops decimated Bochum 5-0 in their penultimate Bundesliga contest, where Patrik Schick, Victor Boniface, Alejandro Grimaldo, Amine Adli and continental hero Josip Stanisic found the mark.

Enjoying the calmest of cruises to the domestic finish line, Leverkusen need only avoid defeat on Saturday to become the first team to ever go through a single Bundesliga campaign unbeaten, while also extending their outrageous run without defeat to 51 matches since coincidentally going down to Bochum 12 months ago.

However, one all-time high that Leverkusen cannot conquer is Bayern Munich's 91-point haul from the 2012-13 Bundesliga season - Alonso's troops can reach a maximum of 90 - although no side other than Bayern has ever reached the latter mark in a single campaign.

Saturday's contest is certainly the least important item left on Leverkusen's 2023-24 agenda, as Alonso's men pit their wits against Atalanta BC in next Wednesday's Europa League final before a DFB-Pokal showpiece with Kaiserslautern. Complete the treble, and there is certainly a case to regard the current iteration of Die Werkself as one of the greatest club teams to ever grace the game.

Augsburg's Ermedin Demirovic celebrates scoring their first goal on January 27, 2024© Reuters

While Leverkusen's grip on the gold medal position is unyielding, Augsburg head into the final weekend having fallen behind in the heated race for European contention, suffering four defeats from their last four in the top flight and winning just one of their last seven.

Eintracht Frankfurt, Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart have all come up trumps against Jess Thorup's men in the springtime period; a 1-0 loss to the latter on May 10 sees Augsburg occupy 10th place in the standings on 39 points, level with Heidenheim and Werder Bremen either side of them.

However, the visitors are just three points behind Freiburg in eighth - which would offer a Europa Conference League qualification path if Leverkusen win the DFB-Pokal - so ending the champions' unbeaten streak could see Augsburg sneak into the third tier continental tournament if Freiburg and Heidenheim lose this weekend.

Such a scenario is incredibly fanciful, though, as Thorup's out-of-sorts troops have struck just two goals while conceding 12 in their miserable losing run, and defeat at the BayArena would also see Augsburg suffer five straight Bundesliga losses for the first time in their history.

Saturday's visitors can take encouragement from their pair of victories over Leverkusen in the 2022-23 season, but the holders emerged triumphant 1-0 in January's battle thanks to one of their many injury-time interventions; on that occasion, Exequiel Palacios was the hero of the hour in minute 94.

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form:


Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions):


Augsburg Bundesliga form:


Team News

Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz in action on November 25, 2023© Reuters

After his omission from the starting lineup to face Roma in the Europa League semi-final second leg, much-coveted playmaker Florian Wirtz did not make the squad for the thrashing of Bochum due to a thigh injury, but his issue is not a severe one and should not deny him a place on the bench here.

However, defender Odilon Kossounou was a casualty of Leverkusen's last Bundesliga triumph with an ankle injury, and while it is still unclear how severe his affliction is, Alonso will surely spare him for the upcoming finals.

Piero Hincapie ought to return to the hosts' three-man backline as cover for Kossounou, while Jonas Hofmann, Borja Iglesias and Adli are all candidates for rotation in the final third as Alonso gears up for the final and most pivotal push.

As for Augsburg, head coach Thorup will be forced into an alteration at right-back due to Kevin Mbabu picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the loss to Stuttgart, ruling him out of the final day through suspension.

Mbabu's ban is particularly problematic with fellow right-backs Robert Gumny and Raphael Framberger both recovering from ACL injuries, while Finn Dahmen (ankle), Fredrik Jensen (calf), Elvis Rexhbecaj (ankle) and Reece Oxford (COVID-19) are all sidelined.

Adding to Thorup's woes, attacker Ruben Vargas is a doubt with the groin issue he sustained last weekend - as is ankle victim Pep Biel - while left-back Iago missed training earlier this week for personal reasons but should be fine to face the champions.


Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapie; Stanisic, Xhaka, Palacios, Grimaldo; Hofmann, Adli; Schick

Augsburg possible starting lineup:
Koubek; Iago, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Pedersen; Engels, Jakic, Breithaupt; Maier; Tietz, Demirovic


SM words green background

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Augsburg

Leverkusen may have bigger fish to fry over the next 10 days, but the chance to conclude an entire domestic season unbeaten is one that Alonso's well-rested champions should not pass up on Saturday.

Facing an Augsburg side in the midst of an injury crisis and without a single recognised right-back, Die Werkself should do what they do best and end a phenomenal Bundesliga season with no losses on their record.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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Game History

How you voted: B. Leverkusen vs Augsburg

Bayer Leverkusen
89.8%
Draw
6.5%
Augsburg
3.7%
108
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Saturday, June 22
 
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Tables header RHS

Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

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1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

TeamPWDLPTS
1 England flag England11003
2 Denmark Denmark10101
3 Slovenia Slovenia10101
4 Serbia Serbia10010

Group D

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1 Netherlands Netherlands11003
2 France France11003
3 Poland Poland10010
4 Austria Austria10010

Group E

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1 Romania Romania11003
2 Slovakia Slovakia11003
3 Belgium Belgium10010
4 Ukraine Ukraine10010

Group F

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1 Turkey Turkey11003
2 Portugal Portugal11003
3 Czech Republic Czech Republic10010
4 Georgia Georgia10010


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