Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich travel to Leverkusen on Saturday afternoon looking to pick up another win as they inch closer to an 8th straight Bundesliga title.
Leverkusen responded to a disappointing 4-1 midweek home defeat to Wolfsburg by defeating Freiburg 1-0 over the weekend, thanks to another Kai Havertz goal, which keeps them level on 56 points with Borussia Mönchengladbach and four behind second-placed Dortmund as the league gets to the business end of the season. The rising German star has in stupendous form and has thrived in his more pronounced role upfront standing in for their leading marksman Kevin Volland who has been out injured the last few weeks but who has reportedly overcome his injury, which is terrific news for the Leverkusen hopeful ahead of this crucial game against the runaway league leaders.
The hosts have now scored in all of their last 13 leagues games, with nine goals in the four matches since the resumption. This is without a doubt one of their best seasons in recent years and they have certainly had a hand in one of the most competitive title races in years. They have a chance to not only bolster their top-4 case but also to slow down Bayern’s majestic march to an inevitable 8th successive title, albeit momentarily. They certainly have what it takes to do just that. They are one of only 4 teams to have inflicted a loss to Bayern this season. They won the reverse fixture 2-1 away at the Allianz Arena back in November.
Coach Peter Bosz boys will be looking to make things tough for Bayern which is not an easy feat. Bayern have the prize in their sights and they have been on a roll especially away from home. They will certainly come here looking for maximum points to get the job done. As mentioned, the coach is pretty chuffed to have leading striker Kevin Volland back from injury although it is not clear whether he is 100% fit and he might, therefore, be coming off the bench here. Lars Bender is still out however with a foot injury.
Hansi Flick has flicked a bright light on Bayern Munich ever since he took over the reins from Niko Kovac in November. After a horrific start that had them hovering as low as 7th place earlier in the season, the 55-year-old tactician has had just two defeats in 19 league games since taking over and Bayern are on a 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions. With a 7 point cushion over second-placed Borussia Dortmund, Bayern will no doubt be seeing this game as a chance for them to move even further away from the chasing pack and closer to their 8th title – and, incidentally, the first-ever piece of silverware for Coach Flick.
Bayern moved another step closer to achieving this mission with the 5-0 whooping of Fortuna Düsseldorf at home last weekend. This trip to the BayArena may not necessarily be as smooth sailing for them, however. The Bavarians’ record at the BayArena hasn’t been impressive particularly in the past couple of seasons. They have won just one of their last six league visits to Leverkusen. Having said that, this Bayern team is a whole different animal at the moment. They are literally destroying anything and everything in their way. They head to their last away fixture full of confidence. They have won eight Bundesliga wins in a row, scoring 28 goals and keeping five clean sheets. They are even more devastating on their travels having won the last 3 away games while keeping clean sheets and scoring 9 goals.
Coach Flick is not going to make any wholesale changes to the lineup with the finish line pretty much in sight. Central midfielders Corentin Tolisso and Thiago are still on the treatment table and it is still too soon for Niklas Sule to return to action. On-loan Philippe Coutinho is still out on a long-term ankle injury.
This has not been a very productive fixture for Bayern in recent years. But they are in such tremendous form that it would be foolhardy to bet against them turning that tide on Saturday. They have won their last 8 straight league games and 13 of their last 14 games in all competitions. With the Bundesliga title literally a stone’s throw away, we expect Bayern to come out swinging out here. They have scored first in all their last eight games – and ended up winning all eight games.
The fact that this team, in particular, has been a thorn on their side is also a motivating factor for them. Bayern have shown particularly in their win at title challengers Dortmund a couple of weeks ago, that they can be at their devastating best particularly away from home. With the lack of home crowds, data has shown the home team performances are significantly lower than prior to the ban. Our betting tips for this game are, therefore:
Tip: Bayern Munich to Win Outright @ 1.45 with Bwin betting app
Tip: Bayer Munich to Score First @ 1.42 with Bet9ja betting app
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