Bayer Leverkusen will look to continue on their winning ways when they host VfL Wolfsburg at the BayArena on Tuesday evening in the Bundesliga.
Bayer Leverkusen will look to solidify their position in the top four of the Bundesliga, when they face off against VfL Wolfsburg on Matchday 28 at the BayArena.
Peter Bosz’s men have made a winning restart to the campaign, bagging impressive victories against Werder Bremen and Borussia Monchengladbach. Currently fourth in the standings, Die Werkself are just a point behind RB Leipzig in third and four below Borussia Dortmund in second. Tuesday’s game will give them a chance to make further headway up the table.
Wolfsburg, on the other hand, started off with a 2-1 win over FC Augsburg, but succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund this past weekend. Currently sixth in the table, Die Wolfe have just a two-point cushion over SC Freiburg and Schalke, who are seventh and eighth, respectively. Another slip-up from Oliver Glasner’s men here could see the chasing pack capitalise.
The reverse fixture, played at the Volkswagen Arena in November, saw Leverkusen emerge victorious 2-0, courtesy goals from Karim Bellarabi and Paulinho. And ahead of the latest meeting between the two teams, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Peter Bosz will once again be without the services of star striker Kevin Volland for the midweek clash. However, apart from him, the Bayer Leverkusen manager has almost the entire squad at his disposal, although Lars Bender and Jonathan Tah are doubtful. With another game coming on Friday, there is a good chance that he might look to rotate his troops in a few positions on Tuesday.
A switch in formation might also be on the cards with Bosz likely to revert to the 4-2-3-1 he used against Werder Bremen when the season resumed. Lukas Hradecky is a guaranteed starter between the sticks while Sven Bender and Edmond Tapsoba are expected to hold on to their places at the heart of the Leverkusen defence.
Daley Sinkgraven could be given a breather after starting the last two matches, with Wendell replacing him on the left side of the defence. Mitchell Weiser, though, is likely to continue on the right. The midfield double pivot of Charles Aranguiz and Kerem Demirbay is also unlikely to be tinkered with by the manager.
Nadiem Amiri is likely to return to starting lineup, slotting in as the No. 10 for Leverkusen. On the flanks, Moussa Diaby and Karim Bellarabi could be retained, although Bosz can call upon the likes of Leon Bailey and youngster Florian Wirtz.
Kai Havertz has been used as the lone forward by the manager in Volland’s absence and should continue to operate in the same role on Tuesday, with Lucas Alario on the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hradecky; Weiser, Tapsoba, Bender, Wendell; Aranguiz, Demirbay; Bellarabi, Amiri, Diaby; Havertz
Oliver Glasner will once again be without the services of captain Josuha Guilavogui, who is closing on full fitness, but is unlikely to make it in time for Tuesday’s game. William and Yannick Gerhardt remain sidelined for the Wolves, while Admir Mehmedi also misses out with an Achilles Tendon issue. Paulo Otavio will be unavailable as well for the visitors, while Felix Klaus is suspended.
Koen Casteels will take his rightful place between the sticks for the Wolves. Kevin Mbabu has looked impressive on the right side of the defence and should continue while Jerome Roussillon should start on the left once again in Otavio’s absence. Marin Pongracic and John Brooks ought to form the centre-back pairing.
Renato Steffen has struck up a dangerous partnership with Mbabu down the right hand side and will be a threat to the Leverkusen backline. With Mehmedi ruled out, Josip Brekalo should get the nod on the left flank. The two-main midfield unit of Xaver Schlager and Maximilian Arnold should remain unchanged.
Leading goalscorer Wout Weghorst endured an ineffective outing last time out and will be looking to make amends on Tuesday. He will once again be partnered by Daniel Ginczek in the two-pronged strikeforce for Die Wolfe.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Casteels; Mbabu, Brooks, Pongracic, Roussillon; Steffen, Arnold, Schlager, Brekalo; Ginczek, Weghorst
- Bayer Leverkusen have won nine of their last 11 Bundesliga matches. They are unbeaten in their last seven league outings.
- Prior to their defeat against Borussia Dortmund this past weekend, Wolfsburg were on a seven-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga.
- Leverkusen have lost just one of the last eight meetings against Wolfsburg (W5 D2 L1). The Wolves’ only victory during this time came at the BayArena back in September 2018.
- Wolfsburg’s leading goalscorer Wout Weghorst, who has scored 11 goals so far this season, has failed to find the back of the net in his last two appearances against Leverkusen.
- Peter Bosz has won all three of his matches as a Bundesliga manager against Wolfsburg. He picked up his first victories at both Borussia Dortmund and Leverkusen against Die Wolfe.
Player to Watch
Who else but Kai Havertz? At the age of just 20, the German has the world at his feet. The Bayer Leverkusen star has been in sensational form in 2020 and has been absolutely unstoppable since the restart of the season. Havertz has scored a brace in both of Leverkusen’s matches since the resumption of Bundesliga.
Havertz has an amazing tally of nine goals and six assists in his last ten appearances across all competitions. This kind of form has seen him attract interest from a number of clubs across Europe, including the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea. Expect more wizardry from the German international when Leverkusen take the field on Tuesday.
Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen have lost just one of their last eight fixtures against Wolfsburg. And given the way they have started things off since the resumption of the campaign, they go into the game as favourites, more so considering the form that Kai Havertz has been in of late.
Wolfsburg, though, cannot be counted out. They are one of the meanest defensive units in the league and will make life difficult for their hosts on Tuesday night. However, given the momentum that Peter Bosz’s men have generated, they should be able to clinch another impressive win at the BayArena this week.