Bayer Leverkusen - Monchengladbach Preview: Both sides eager for victory to prevent full-blown form slumps
It's fifth versus third as the hosts look to recover from two consecutive losses in all competitions, while the visitors have failed to score in their last two Bundesliga clashes
By Stephen Crawford
Schwaab, Friedrich, Toprak, Kadlec
Castro, Renato Augusto, Schurrle
Stranzl, Brouwers, Dante, Daems
Wendt, Nordtveit, Neustadter, Arango
Bayer Leverkusen unfortunately find themselves short of influential midfielder Lars Bender, who is currently looking at 'several weeks' out, according to the club's official site, after tearing his thigh muscle in last weekend's 3-2 loss to Wolfsburg.
Vedran Corluka is the other notable casualty with the Croatian currently recovering from a hamstring problem.
The increasingly unhappy Michael Ballack also looks set to miss out as his role within the club continues to be brought into question, and will join Rene Adler, Tranquillo Barnetta and Sidney Sam on the sidelines.
In the opposition camp, Lucien Favre is unable to call upon the services of defender Tony Jantschke, as the 21-year-old is currently serving a suspension for picking up five yellow cards.
Meanwhile, the Foals' only other absentee should be Patrick Herrmann, who continues his search for full match fitness.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Marco Reus is currently the Bundesliga's seventh top scorer with 13 goals. The closest Bayer Leverkusen come to the young attacker's record this season is Stefan Kiessling, who has scored eight.
- Die Fohlen's Juan Arango currently holds the record for the second-most assists in the German top flight this season with nine, trailing only Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, who has 10.
- Both teams involved in Saturday's clash currently sit the top four of the Bundesliga's fair play ranking. Put into perspective, Monchengladbach have picked up 37 yellow cards and one red over the course of the season, while the worst of the bunch, Koln, have amassed 54 yellows and six reds.
- Bayer Leverkusen are amongst the teams with the poorest average attendance this term with under 30,000 per match; less than half of Borussia Dortmund's, who have an approximate attendance of over 80,000 per game.
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Top 3 Predictions
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- 15.39 %
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- 10.77 %
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- 10.77 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Aug 24, 2013||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 4 - Borussia Mönchengladbach 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 9, 2013||Borussia Mönchengladbach 3 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 23, 2012||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1 - Borussia Mönchengladbach 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Mar 17, 2012||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1 - Borussia Mönchengladbach 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Oct 15, 2011||Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2|
|Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
|Dec 7, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1||GER1|
|Dec 4, 2013||SC Freiburg 1 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2||GERC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3 - Nürnberg 0||GER1|
|Nov 27, 2013||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0 - Man Utd. 5||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Hertha BSC 0 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1||GER1|
|Dec 7, 2013||Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - Schalke 04 1||GER1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 - SC Freiburg 0||GER1|
|Nov 22, 2013||VfB Stuttgart 0 - Borussia Mönchengladbach 2||GER1|
|Nov 9, 2013||Borussia Mönchengladbach 3 - Nürnberg 1||GER1|
|Nov 2, 2013||Hamburg 0 - Borussia Mönchengladbach 2||GER1|
|20||D. da Costa||Defender|
|1||Marc-Andre ter Stegen||Goalkeeper|
|18||Juan Fernando Arango||Midfielder|
|10||Igor De Camargo||Striker|
The Werkself have shipped 10 goals in their last two matches. As such, there will be huge pressure on the keeper and his defense to steady the ship at the back.
Who else? Favre needs goals and Reus can provide them. Watch how the 22-year-old links up with striker Mike Hanke against an ailing Leverkusen defence.
It's no secret that both sides will want to win this game, but one has to imagine that anything other than a loss would suit Robin Dutt at present, while Lucien Favre's main concern will be to see his side return to goalscoring form. With that in mind, either camp should be happy with a scoring draw.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed