Bayer Leverkusen-Bayern Munich Preview: Werkself chasing league double over Bavarians
Jupp Heynckes' side slumped to a 2-1 defeat to B04 at the Allianz Arena earlier this season, but will be all the more eager to bounce back after their loss to Arsenal in midweek
By Enis Koylu
Carvajal, Wollscheid, Schwaab, Kadlec
Bender, Reinartz, Rolfes
Castro, Kiessling, Schurrle
Boateng, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Robben, Kroos, Shaqiri
Bayern Munich are expected to make two changes from the team that lost 2-0 at home to Arsenal in midweek. Bastian Schweinsteiger is available again after his continental suspension and will replace Luiz Gustavo in midfield.
Elsewhere, Mario Gomez could come back into the starting XI in the place of Mario Mandzukic, whose form has trailed off in recent weeks. Holger Badstuber remains sidelined, while Franck Ribery is lacking fitness. Finally, Thomas Muller and Philipp Lahm are set to be rested.
Meanwhile, Leverkusen will be sweating over the fitness of Omer Toprak, who was forced out of the game against Stuttgart with a knee injury a fortnight ago, and missed the trip to Mainz.
The only absence is Karim Bellarabi, who is unfit, while Sebastian Boenisch may slot back in on the left-hand side of defence instead of Michal Kadlec.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Leverkusen have won their last two games against Bayern, recording a 2-0 triumph at the BayArena last season and a 2-1 win in Bavaria this term.
- Lars Bender (pictured, right) is set to make his 100th league appearance for Leverkusen after being handed his debut for the club by current Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes.
- Heynckes had the same points-per-game rate at B04 as current co-coaches Sascha Lewandowski and Sami Hyypia.
- Bayern Munich's 20-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga is the largest the division has ever seen.
- The Bavarians are chasing a Bundesliga record 12th away win on Saturday.
- A point at the BayArena would see them confirm their place in next season's Champions League with eight games to spare.
|William Hill: £25 in free bets|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Bayer Leverkusen 0-2 FC Bayern München
- 15.08 %
Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 FC Bayern München
- 14 %
Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 FC Bayern München
- 12.15 %
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||5 Oct 2013||Bayer Leverkusen 1 - FC Bayern München 1|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||16 Mar 2013||Bayer Leverkusen 1 - FC Bayern München 2|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||28 Oct 2012||FC Bayern München 1 - Bayer Leverkusen 2|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||3 Mar 2012||Bayer Leverkusen 2 - FC Bayern München 0|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||24 Sep 2011||FC Bayern München 3 - Bayer Leverkusen 0|
|8 Mar 2014||Hannover 96 1 - Bayer Leverkusen 1||BUN|
|1 Mar 2014||Bayer Leverkusen 0 - 1. FSV Mainz 05 1||BUN|
|22 Feb 2014||VfL Wolfsburg 3 - Bayer Leverkusen 1||BUN|
|18 Feb 2014||Bayer Leverkusen 0 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 4||UCL|
|15 Feb 2014||Bayer Leverkusen 1 - FC Schalke 04 2||BUN|
|5||Daniel Van Buyten||Defender|
|34||Pierre Emil Højbjerg||Midfielder|
Snubbed by Germany coach Joachim Low yet again on Thursday, the striker will be all the more eager to prove the 53-year-old wrong and continue his fantastic goalscoring form and force his way into the international set-up.
With Mario Mandzukic struggling to replicate his early-season form of late, the time may well have come for the former Stuttgart striker to establish himself as his side's first-choice forward. He has shown glimpses of his old self of late, and will be eager to continue that.
Leverkusen may have gone off the boil of late, but so have Bayern, whose defence looks to be more susceptible than usual in recent weeks. Both sides remain capable of scoring goals, and I'd expect them to play out an enthralling draw.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed