Bayer Leverkusen-Borussia Dortmund Preview: Key battle in race for second place
Both teams have been in fine form of late and will be looking to assert themselves as the nearest challengers to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga
By Enis Koylu
Carvajal, Wollscheid, Toprak, Boenisch
Bender, Reinartz, Rolfes
Castro, Kiessling, Schurrle
Piszczek, Santana, Hummels, Schmelzer
Blaszczykowski, Gotze, Reus
Both teams come into this fixture with a minimum of injuries. For Leverkusen, the only notable absence is young attacker Karim Bellarabi.
Sebastian Boenisch is expected to continue on the left-hand side of defence ahead of Michal Kadlec.
Meanwhile, Felipe Santana will deputise for Neven Subotic at the heart of the Dortmund defence once again, as the Serbian continues his road back to full fitness from a hamstring injury.
Patrick Owomoyela remains sidelined. Nuri Sahin will have to continue his wait for a first Bundesliga start since returning to the club, while Sven Bender will also start on the bench.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Leverkusen are currently unbeaten at home in the Bundesliga this season, and have won their last five BayArena clashes.
- What's more, they have only lost two of their last 16 games. Ominously, these both came on a Sunday afternoon.
- Werkself midfielder Lars Bender (pictured, right) could face his twin brother Sven in the centre of the park on Sunday. The Leverkusen man has never beaten his sibling.
- Dortmund have only lost one of their last 11 games against Leverkusen - a 2-0 home reverse on the opening day of the 2010-11 season.
- Robert Lewandowski has scored 12 Bundesliga goals this season. Only Stefan Kiessling, his opposite number on Sunday, has scored more.
- Jakub 'Kuba' Blaszczykowski has provided eight assists this season, his personal best-ever tally.
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Top 3 Predictions
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 17.38 %
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
- 16.99 %
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 9.96 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Dec 7, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 3, 2013||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 - Borussia Dortmund 3|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 15, 2012||Borussia Dortmund 3 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 11, 2012||Borussia Dortmund 1 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Aug 27, 2011||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0 - Borussia Dortmund 0|
|Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
|Mar 8, 2014||Hannover 96 1 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1||GER1|
|Mar 1, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0 - Mainz 1||GER1|
|Feb 22, 2014||VfL Wolfsburg 3 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1||GER1|
|Feb 18, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 4||UCL|
|Feb 15, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1 - Schalke 04 2||GER1|
There can be no doubting who will be the danger man for Leverkusen. Kiessling was in fine form as they overcame Bayern Munich earlier this season, and is certainly the most capable of providing Dortmund with a headache, particularly with Neven Subotic missing.
On the other side of the pitch, there is Lewandowski. The Pole was involved in all the action during last week's game against Nurnberg, grabbing a deserved goal at the death to make it 3-0. If he continues his current form, he will be capable of firing BVB to another victory.
These two teams are certainly capable of providing one thing-goals. Both have been in exceptional form of late, and led by Kiessling and Lewandowski, have provided some extraordinarily exciting matches. Dortmund probably possess more quality, but Leverkusen's strong home record could deny them another victory.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed