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Leverkusen logo
Bundesliga | Gameweek 21
Feb 10, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
Bayern logo

B. Leverkusen
3 - 0

Stanisic (18'), Grimaldo (50'), Frimpong (90+5')
Tapsoba (64'), Adli (77'), Hradecky (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Boey (36'), Goretzka (62')

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

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

An intriguing top-of-the-table clash in the Bundesliga takes centre stage at the BayArena on Saturday evening as unbeaten leaders Bayer Leverkusen lock horns with reigning champions Bayern Munich.

For the first time in Bundesliga history, two teams have collected 50 points after 20 matches, with Leverkusen (52) sitting just two points clear of Bayern (50) in second place.

Match preview

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso before the match on January 13, 2024© Reuters

Bayer Leverkusen became just the second team in German football history to put together a 30-game unbeaten run across all competitions after beating Stuttgart 3-2 on Tuesday to advance to the DFB-Pokal semi-finals.

Die Werkself's unbeaten record was under threat twice as Stuttgart were leading 1-0 and 2-1 at the BayArena, but Xabi Alonso's side fought back to turn the game on its head in dramatic fashion, with Amine Adli's 66th-minute equaliser followed by a 90th-minute winner from Jonathan Tah – Leverkusen's third stoppage-time goal since the turn of the year.

Only Bayern Munich (32) have enjoyed a longer unbeaten run in German football history than Leverkusen, who have remarkably accumulated 25 points more in the Bundesliga than at this stage of last season, and have conceded a league-low 14 goals in the process.

Leverkusen, who won 2-0 away against basement club SV Darmstadt 98 in their last top-flight match a week ago, have only dropped points in four of their 20 league fixtures this term, with one of those draws against Saturday's opponents Bayern – a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena in which Exequiel Palacios netted a 94th-minute equaliser.

Alonso successfully steered his Leverkusen side to a 2-1 home victory over Bayern in March last year, and the Spaniard – who spent three years with the Bavarian giants as a player – will be seeking to gain a psychological advantage in the title race with a victory on Saturday that would move them five points clear at the summit.

Bayern Munich's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their third goal with Leon Goretzka, Kingsley Coman and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on January 12, 2024© Reuters

Bayern Munich's ambitions of winning a 12th successive Bundesliga title have been put to the test by a powerful Leverkusen outfit so far this season, but Thomas Tuchel's side have nevertheless enjoyed another impressive campaign to date.

Indeed, the Bavarians have picked up the most points (50) for a team sitting in second place after 20 matches and have collected seven points more than at this stage of their 2022-23 title-winning campaign; they have also accumulated the most points on home soil (28) thus far and have scored a league-high 59 goals.

Since suffering a surprise 1-0 home defeat to Werder Bremen at the end of January, Bayern have won each of their last three Bundesliga matches against Union Berlin, Augsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach, beating the latter 3-1 last weekend.

Bayern fell behind courtesy of a 35th-minute strike from Nico Elvedi, but teenager Aleksandar Pavlovic equalised on the stroke of half time before Harry Kane and Matthijs de Ligt completed the turnaround, much to the delight of Tuchel who was pleased with the "reaction" of his side against a "tough opponent".

The pressure in on Bayern to claim a positive result in their potentially-pivotal title showdown with Leverkusen, and although they suffered defeat in their last visit to the BayArena, they won each of their previous four away games against Die Werkself in all competitions, scoring 15 goals in the process, which bodes well ahead of Saturday's latest trip to North Rhine-Westphalia.

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form:

Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions):

Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:

Bayern Munich form (all competitions):

Team News

Bayer Leverkusen's Victor Boniface celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates Jonas Hofmann and Jeremie Frimpong on December 20, 2024© Reuters

Bayer Leverkusen duo Victor Boniface and Arthur both remain sidelined with respective groin and thigh injuries, while Odilon Kossounou is still away with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Palacios, who has missed the last three games with a thigh problem, is a doubt for Saturday, so Robert Andrich and Granit Xhaka could link arms again in centre-midfield.

Nathan Tella will be pushing to start after netting a brace against Darmstadt last weekend, while Patrik Schick could be replaced up front by Real Betis loanee Borja Iglesias.

As for Bayern Munich, Alphonso Davies picked up a knee injury last weekend and is the latest name to join Kingsley Coman (knee), Serge Gnabry (thigh), Daniel Peretz (knee), Tarek Buchmann (thigh) and Bouna Sarr (ACL) in the treatment room.

Konrad Laimer (calf) and January signing Bryan Zaragoza (illness) will all be assessed ahead of kickoff, but Joshua Kimmich (shoulder) and Dayot Upamecano (hamstring) returned to full training on Wednesday and could be fit to feature this weekend, while Kim Min-jae has returned to Germany and is available for selection now that his time with South Korea at the Asian Cup has come to an end.

After scoring in each of his last two starts, Pavlovic will hope to retain his place in centre-midfield alongside Leon Goretzka, while Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller and Jamal Musiala are all expected to provide support in attack for central striker Kane, who is searching for his 25th Bundesliga goal of the season.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapie; Frimpong, Andrich, Xhaka, Grimaldo; Hofmann, Wirtz; Iglesias

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Mazraoui, Kim, De Ligt, Guerreiro; Pavlovic, Goretzka; Sane, Muller, Musiala; Kane

SM words green background

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Bayern Munich

If there is any team in German football who can stop the juggernaut that is Bayer Leverkusen, it is perennial champions Bayern Munich, who have had a week's rest and will be as driven as ever to put a dent in the hosts' title hopes while strengthening the defence of their crown in the process.

Neither side are at full strength, but an entertaining contest between two attack-minded teams should be in store, one that may end as a score draw to keep the title race firmly alive.

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

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
CBayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen34286089246590
3Bayern MunichBayern34233894454972
4RB Leipzig34198777393865
5Borussia DortmundDortmund34189768432563
6Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt34111495150147
9Werder Bremen34119144854-642
13Mainz 05Mainz34714133951-1235
14Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach34713145667-1134
15Union BerlinUnion Berlin3496193358-2533
16VfL BochumVfL Bochum34712154274-3233
RFC Koln34512172860-3227
RSV Darmstadt 98Darmstadt3438233086-5617

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