Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich face-off in super Saturday showdown


Bayer Leverkusen will be looking to keep up the pressure on the top four by completing a famous double over Bayern Munich, but the visitors could move within touching distance of another title.

Where they stand

Aside from two corners in three minutes against Frankfurt, Munich have been perfect since the restart – 12 points out of 12, with 13 goals scored – and near-perfect since Hansi Flick (16-1-2) took over in November, beating records set by Pep Guardiola and Jupp Heynckes’ sides.

They’re now seven points clear at the top and need a maximum of three more wins, from their remaining five matches, to secure an eighth consecutive Bundesliga title; with Robert Lewandowski in red-hot form already on 29 goals for the season, it seems inevitable.

But Bayern could face a tough test at the BayArena, where they face a Leverkusen side who have won three out of four themselves and have the league’s in-form striker leading the line.

Kai Havertz has scored five of his team’s nine goals post-lockdown, but he could do nothing to stop the hosts crashing to a 4-1 defeat when they faced Wolfsburg in their last game on their own turf.

Bayer are currently fifth with five matchdays remaining, behind Mönchengladbach on goal difference, two points behind Leipzig in third and four off Dortmund.

In the see-saw battle for Germany’s Champions League places, there’s pressure to get a result even against their mighty Bavarian opponents.

That’s exactly what Leverkusen managed before Christmas, running out 2-1 winners at the Allianz Arena as Leon Bailey grabbed a brace.

Team news

Thiago Alcantara should come back into contention after injury for Der FCB, but Niklas Süle (knee), Corentin Tolisso (ankle) and Philippe Coutinho (ankle) are all likely to miss out again.

Lars Bender (foot) has still not trained with Die Werkself, so will not be in the hosts’ squad this weekend.

Kevin Volland is available after making a successful comeback last week, but isn’t yet ready to start.

Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz is relishing the challenge of facing the league leaders, but wants to keep the focus on his team and their Champions League objective.

“As always, we are preparing for this game: 95 per cent we deal with ourselves, five per cent with the opponent.

“These five per cent are a lot of fun; as a football lover, I enjoy the current football FC Bayern plays.

“They have a good defence, they have good pressure on the ball and great quality with their individual players.

“To get something, we all have to believe in it, be brave and play 100 per cent. We don’t play for others, we play for ourselves.

“We want to go to the Champion League and we can’t lose many points in the race.

“That’s why it’s an important game for us tomorrow – we need the points very much.”

Munich boss Hansi Flick is anticipating a high-scoring match between two of the Bundesliga’s form teams.

 “The way we play is good. We are greedy for goals. We also want to tackle the upcoming game; Leverkusen have very fast players and are a dangerous team.

“We are active, we want to have a certain dynamic in our game, both with and against the ball.

“When we have the ball, the first thought is offensive – then everyone is involved.

“The team is focused; they also did well in the final training. We always speak of a power season.

“Now we have the fifth game after the break and we want to be successful there too.”


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