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Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga Match Preview
The big game in Germany this weekend takes place on Sunday at the BayArena as third placed Bayer Leverkusen host second placed Borussia Dortmund.
LEVERKUSEN SET OUT TO CLAW BACK HUGE GAP
There may be only one place separating them in the current standings, but Bayer Leverkusen are a massive 13 points behind Sunday’s opponents making victory this weekend essential. Coach Roger Schmidt’s side are on a run of six unbeaten in the league and the BayArena has been a fortress this season, with only Darmstadt and Trois returning home with all three points. The five-time Bundesliga runner-up are actually unbeaten in 28 of their last 31 home league games and recently held champions Bayern Munich to a goalless draw. Last weekend they gained revenge on Darmstadt by beating them 2-1, before another away win in mid-week saw them overcome Sporting Lisbon 1-0 in the Europa League last 32 first-leg.
DORTMUND STAY IN PURSUIT OF BAYERN
Borussia Dortmund are eight points off leaders Bayern Munich, but coach Thomas Tuchel has not given up hope of an unlikely 9th Bundesliga championship. 2016 has been good so far to the club from Signal-Iduna-Park; they currently remain unbeaten in all competitions. They too faced Portuguese opposition in the Europa League this week easily disposing of Porto 2-0 in Germany on Thursday evening, in their round of 32 first-leg tie. In Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang they have one of the hottest strikers in Europe, having scored 20 goals in 20 Bundesliga appearances so far this season. The best football betting sites currently quote him at *5.00 to open the scoring on Sunday.
Bayer Leverkusen will be without striker Javier Hernandez who joins Charles Aránguiz, Lars Bender and Robbie Kruse on the treatment table. Kevin Kampl has now got over his recent illness and looks set to return in midfield. Admir Mehmedi and Hakan Calhanoglu compete for a spot on the left wing.
Tuchel may opt to rotate his squad after Thursday’s Europa League tie. He will be without Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin for Sunday’s game, but can point to a strong front-three of Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus. It’s surprising therefore with the firepower at his disposal, that there has been less than 2.5 goals scored in Dortmund’s last three league games; the betting exchanges are offering current odds of *2.00 for this to happen again on Sunday.
Bayer Leverkusen (from) Leno, Wendell, Tah, Toprak, Jedvaj, Mehmedi, Kampl, Calhanoglu, Kramer, Bellarabi, Brandt, Kießling, Papadopoulos, Henrichs, Hilbert, Ramalho, Kresic, Yurchenko, Frey
Borussia Dortmund (from) Burki, Hummels, Piszczek, Papastathopoulos, Schmelzer, Kagawa, Mkhitaryan, Reus, Weigl, Aubameyang, Leitner, Pulisic, Ginter, Subotic, Ramos, Durm, Bonmann
HEAD TO HEAD
Dortmund will head into Sunday’s contest with an impressive away record against Leverkusen; having remained unbeaten in their last eight visits in all competitions. The hosts have kept a clean sheet in their last three home Bundesliga matches, whilst Dortmund have kept their goal intact in their last three league games. Last season’s corresponding fixture failed to produce a goal, but their first meeting of the current campaign ended in a resounding 3-0 victory for Tuchel’s team.
Bayer Leverkusen 3.40 Draw 3.50 Borussia Dortmund 2.10
*odds courtesy of Bet365
By: Steve Mitchell