Bayer Leverkusen will be hoping to thwart Bayern Munich when the two sides clash at the BayArena on Saturday evening.
Although die Roten enjoy an eight-point lead over the rest of the pack, Pep Guardiola’s men have a tough Champions League clash with Juventus looming on the horizon. As such, they will not want to drop their levels as they yet to have hit first gear since the re-commencement of the 2015/2016 Bundesliga campaign last month. The over-reliance on Robert Lewandowski will also be a source of concern as the former Dortmund man has scored all four of Bayern’s goals to earn them their first two wins of the season.
Guardiola will be coming into this match having to deal with a spate of injuries. Jérôme Boateng, Javi Martínez, Franck Ribéry, and Mario Götze will all be missing out but both Ribéry and Götze are apparently nearing match fitness. The fact that Holger Badstuber – who himself has dealt with his own injury woes – is the only fit center-back will worry Bayern fans, as Guardiola may have to also call up young defender Joshua Kimmich to partner Badstuber in the center of defense.
Roger Schmidt’s men will hope to exploit this as Leverkusen hope to stay ahead of Schalke and M’gladbach, and given that they failed to make it to the last 16 in the Champions League, the hosts will hope that they will not have to secure their ticket for next season through a play-off. Only one team – the aforementioned M’gladbach – have beaten Bayern so far this season, and Leverkusen will be hoping to become the second. They will be without their skipper Lars Bender in the middle of the park and will have to have everyone at 110 per cent in order to deal with a team that not only has the second best attack (50 goals) and strongest defense (nine goals conceded).
The reverse fixture between the two sides ended as a 3-0 rout in favor of the Bavarian powerhouse. Will Leverkusen get revenge at the BayArena? Or will Bayern continue with their perfect record so far in 2016?
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