Bundesliga Preview: Bayer Leverkusen - Stuttgart
Robin Dutt's side hope to make up for lost points as they play host to the Swabians, who will be without recently-sold striker Pavel Pogrebnyak
By Clark Whitney
Corluka, Schwaab, Friedrich, Kadlec
Reinartz, Bender, Rolfes
Castro, Derdiyok, Schurrle
Boulahrouz, Tasci, Maza, Molinaro
Harnik, Kvist, Hajnal, Okazaki
Robin Dutt is expected to adopt a conservative approach to Saturday's match, using three primarily defensive midfielders behind a front three that will feature Andre Schurrle as half-winger, half-centre forward. New signing Vedran Corluka is tipped to start his first match at the BayArena. Rene Adler, Tranquillo Barnetta, and Sidney Sam are all unfit.
With Pavel Pogrebnyak having been sold to Fulham earlier this week, Vedad Ibisevic is certain to start in the centre of attack. Mamadou bah, Arthur Boka, and Ibrahima Traore are all missing due to their participation at the African Cup of Nations. As well, Matthieu Delpierre is suspended, and Timo Gebhart and Johan Audel are both lacking fitness to play.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
Leverkusen have a positive record at home, but have been out-scored 13-12 at the BayArena.
- To date, Robin Dutt's side have been better on the road than at home: away they have lost just two of 10, winning four; in front of their own fans, they have won four and lost three of their nine matches.
- Summer signing Andre Schurrle has found the net just twice in the Bundesliga this season, and has not scored since November 5.
- Stuttgart have lost their last four Bundesliga games, and are winless since November 20.
- Martin Harnik has directly contributed to nine of his team's 24 goals.
- The Swabians have won just two of their nine away games this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-1 VfB Stuttgart
- 24.36 %
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-1 VfB Stuttgart
- 15.39 %
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-0 VfB Stuttgart
- 14.1 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 1, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 - VfB Stuttgart 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Aug 17, 2013||VfB Stuttgart 0 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Mar 2, 2013||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 - VfB Stuttgart 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Oct 7, 2012||VfB Stuttgart 2 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 4, 2012||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 - VfB Stuttgart 2|
|Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
|Apr 13, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 - Hertha BSC 1||GER1|
|Apr 4, 2014||Hamburg 2 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1||GER1|
|Mar 29, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1 - Eintracht Braunschweig 1||GER1|
|Mar 26, 2014||FC Augsburg 1 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3||GER1|
|Mar 23, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 - Hoffenheim 3||GER1|
|20||D. da Costa||Defender|
|6||William Kvist Jörgensen||Midfielder|
The right-back spot has been a touchy issue for Leverkusen this year, and after 18-year-old Danny da Costa proved to be still a little too raw to be reliable, Corluka came to add a bit more certainty to the Leverkusen defence.
The newcomer has in the past proven to be a potentially devastating striker, and perhaps his move from Hoffenheim is what he needed to re-find the spark he once had. Time will tell...
Leverkusen have not exactly impressed at home, but Stuttgart are in abysmal form. Expect goals, expect gaffes from both sides, but in the end, expect the hosts to come out on top.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed