The big result of the weekend sees Borussia Dortmund slip up at home to Hertha Berlin, losing 2-1 despite taking an early lead through Marco Reus. Goals from Adrian Ramos and Sam Allagui condemned Dortmund to their third home defeat of the season. There were also important wins for Freiburg and Mainz. There is just one game left this weekend, as Sunday sees Borussia Moenchengladbach host Wolfsburg.
For the fourth game running, one goal was enough to decide a Leverkusen match, and condemn them to a second straight defeat in games they may have expected to win. A Santiago Garcia strike fifteen minutes from time meant that Hyypia’s team missed out on the opportunity to cut FC Bayern’s lead at the top to four points. However, with Pep’s side still likely to be in the Champions League for most of the season, there is still hope that they might take their eye off league matters.
The only bright note of the weekend was Borussia Dortmund’s surprise home defeat to Hertha Berlin, a result which keeps the gap to Klopp’s men at five points.
Leverkusen’s next match is at home to SC Freiburg on Saturday January 25th.
Well, the winter weather has claimed this afternoon’s match with Abingdon Town, with a local referee deciding it cannot go ahead following an 11am pitch inspection at Larges Lane. A new date will be arranged in due course.
The Robins’ reserve game at Ascot United has also been called off this morning.
Highly rated Belgian winger Kevin De Bruyne could be on his way to the Werkself, according to multiple reports. The twenty one year old spent last season on loan at Werder Bremen, and what a spell it was! He scored ten goals and had eleven assists during his thirty four appearances, prompting Chelsea to start him in their first Premier League game of this campaign against Hull City. He notched an assist in that game, but has been seldom seen since, with just three league games under his belt, and a further three in the cups.
Unfortunately for De Bruyne, their are just way too many players ahead of him in the Stamford Bridge pecking order, which has prompted his agent to hold talks with the West London club regarding his client’s future. Patrick de Koster stated that De Bruyne wished to leave in January, but didn’t submit an official request. Blues boss Jose Mourinho rates the player, but cannot guarantee first team football. De Bruyne would prefer a permanent move, whilst Chelsea are understood to prefer another loan. However, should Leverkusen double the £7million that Chelsea paid Genk for him, then a deal could be struck. They are also contemplating a number of other options, including keeping the player, selling him with a buy back option, or a loan (either with an option to buy or not). If they do sell, it would represent a huge profit on a player they’ve never really used.
Wolfsburg are interested in a deal too, however, and Atletico Madrid are keen to sign De Bruyne on loan, something which the player has rejected, fearing that he would not play enough at Atleti to ensure his place in Belgium’s World Cup squad. So it seems a return to Germany is the obvious choice for De Bruyne.
He would be an excellent addition to Sami Hyypia’s squad, and along with Julian Brandt and Seung-Woo Ryu, would really bolster the team’s attacking options.
Manager Sami Hyypia has wasted little time in adding to his squad, announcing two new signings for January. Julian Brandt, the seventeen year old wunderkind, joins from Wolfsburg, while South Korean forward Seung-Woo Ryu arrives on a twelve month loan from FC Jeju United.
Leverkusen have seen off competition from Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Chelsea for forward Brandt, who has scored twenty two goals for Wolfsburg’s Under-19’s and is also a German international at U-19 level. He will sign a five and a half year deal upon joining Hyppia’s side. The fee is likely to be decided by a tribunal. The transfer could be made all the more important if Sidney Sam’s proposed transfer to Schalke goes ahead.
Ryu, meanwhile, will join up with the Werkself’s January training camp in Portugal after agreeing the loan move. The twenty year old impressed at last summer’s Under 20 World Cup, scoring against Cuba and Portugal in the group stage before injury prevented him from taking part in the knockout rounds. If he can have an impact anywhere near as significant as his countryman Heung-Min Son then he will prove to be an inspired signing.
Both players will be eligible for the Champions League upon its resumption in February.
Sami Hyypia takes his Leverkusen side to Werder Bremen this weekend, knowing that they have a good chance of clawing back some of Bayern Munich’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga table. Pep’s all conquering European Champions currently lie seven points ahead of Bayer, but are away in Morocco for the Club World Cup.
Leverkusen are guaranteed second spot going into the month long winter break, but will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing 0-1 home defeat last weekend against Eintracht Frankfurt, which could have been worse had it not been for Bernd Leno’s superb stoppage time penalty save from Spanish striker Joselu.
The game kicks off at 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon, but is not part of BT Sport’s live coverage.
This weekend’s game at Larges Lane sees Bracknell Town host the division’s bottom side Abingdon Town. The Robins are without a home league win since October 15th, when they beat Flackwell Heath 2-0 thanks to goals from Andre Kelly and Samuel Barratt. Abingdon, meanwhile, are rock bottom with only six draws to show from their twenty four games to date.
This is a great opportunity for the team to register a long overdue home win, and they can move up one place to thirteenth depending on the result between Cheltenham Saracens and Kidlington.
Kick off on Saturday will be at 3pm.
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