Bayer 04 Leverkusen rattled in four quality goals in thirteen second half minutes to add to a first half strike to beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 5-0 at BayArena, ending Andre Schubert's unbeaten start in charge of die Fohlen.
Two ridiculous penalty decisions condemned Bayer 04 Leverkusen to a 3-0 defeat at the Allianz Arena, but the scoreline nowhere near reflects the game.
A busy few days at the BayArena. Champions League qualification, the draw for the group stage, and transfer rumours. It's all go! Continue reading Werkself News Update
The 52nd Bundesliga season finally got underway last weekend, and threw up some interesting stories. For Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a 2-1 comeback victory at the BayArena against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim saw old and young score the goals. Stefan Kießling and Julian Brandt secured the points for die Werkself, and for Kießling it was a particularly significant strike. His equaliser on the stroke of half time was the fourth year in succession that he has netted on the opening day, setting a new record. Schalke 04 hitman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar also achieved this feat in his side’s 3-0 win at Werder Bremen. Kießling has now scored seven goals in his last six appearances against Hoffenheim.
Thomas Tuchel’s reign as Jurgen Klopp’s successor at Borussia Dortmund started in spectacular fashion, with a stunning 4-0 victory over last season’s third place finishers Borussia Moenchengladbach. Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the star of the show, scoring twice. Wolfsburg – last season’s runners-up and tipped by many to close the gap to the champions this year – toiled to a 2-1 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt. If the Wolves are to mount any kind of serious challenge to Pep’s Bayern, they need to rebuff Manchester City’s advances towards their star asset Kevin de Bruyne.
The star team of week one, though, has to be Ingolstadt. This is their first ever season in Germany’s top flight, and they started off with a single goal win at Mainz 05. Mainz have lost some key players over the summer, most notably striker Shinji Okazaki to Leicester City, and they could well struggle this season if this result is anything to go by. The other promoted club, Darmstadt, got a respectable 2-2 draw at home to Hannover 96, who are expected to be involved in the relegation battle too.
Recent overachievers Augsburg, who finished sixth and fifth in the last two seasons, lost 1-0 at home to Hertha Berlin, and FC Köln won 3-1 at Stuttgart.
And as for Bayern Munich? Well, they won 5-0 against hapless and hopeless Hamburg, and are top after week one. Might as well start as you mean to go on!
This article will be published in Bracknell Town’ match day programme this weekend.
Stefan Kießling made a welcome return to the scoresheet as he nets a late winner at TSG Hoffenheim on matchday sixteen.
After slaughtering the Billy Goats last week, matchday 14 sees Leverkusen travel to Bavaria for the round’s top spiel. Continue reading Bayern Up Next For Werkself
Bayer Leverkusen head to Frankfurt on Matchday 33, for a fixture which should see goals scored. In the previous 57 Bundesliga meetings between the two sides, there has never been a goalless draw. In fact, the fixture averages more than three goals a game. The record is currently as follows:
Bayer Leverkusen: 24 wins
Eintracht Frankfurt: 21 wins
Leverkusen Team News
The most important injury news for Sascha Lewandowski is that concerning Stefan Kießling. The Leverkusen legend is out for the remainder of the season with a thigh injury picked up against Dortmund last week. Swiss international Eren Derdiyok will likely start in his place.
In terms of players returning, Andres Guardado could feature. The Mexican winger returned to full training in the week after recovering quicker than expected from a groin strain. However, Lewandowski will wait until the last possible moment before deciding whether to include him in the travelling squad.
Also back in training is Sidney Sam. The Schalke-bound attacker has been out for more than a month, but is now in contention to make a final appearance before departing in the summer. As with Guardado, there will be a late decision on whether to include Sam for the trip to Frankfurt.
Race for Europe
The match is a huge one in Leverkusen’s chase for a Champions League place. Whilst assured of at least a Europa League playoff, the sole aim is to take their seat at the top table of European football. Currently fourth, Leverkusen will still harbour hopes of overtaking Schalke 04 and claiming third spot, and with it a passage straight to the group stages of next season’s competition. Fourth, of course, could land a tricky qualifying playoff tie.
All matches kickoff on Saturday at 1430 UK time, and the full fixture list is below. Teams in bold are those in direct competition with Leverkusen for a top four finish.
Bundesliga Matchday 33
SC Freiburg v Schalke 04
Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayer Leverkusen
FC Nurnberg v Hannover 96
VFB Stuttgart v VfL Wolfsburg
Borussia Dortmund v 1899 Hoffenheim
Borussia Moenchengladbach v Mainz 05
Eintracht Braunschweig v FC Augsburg
Hamburger SV v Bayern Munchen
Werder Bremen v Hertha Berlin
Stefan Kießling will miss the last two matches of the Bundesliga season after tearing a muscle in his left thigh in the latter stages of Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund. The injury will be keenly felt by the Werkself, especially as the remaining fixtures – away at Eintracht Frankfurt and home to Werder Bremen – have a Champions League place riding on them.
Bayer face stiff competition for a spot in Europe’s top competition next season, with Gladbach and Wolfsburg breathing down their necks in the race for fourth place. The absence of Kießling could have a huge impact on proceedings, and Eren Derdiyok will have to step up to fill Kießling’s prolific boots.