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Feb 21, 2021 at 12.30pm UK at WWK Arena
AugsburgAugsburg
1-1
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
FT(HT: 1-0)
Tapsoba (90+5')
Tapsoba (32'), Aranguiz (39'), Diaby (88'), Fosu-Mensah (89')

Preview: Augsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Bundesliga clash between Augsburg and Bayer Leverkusen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Augsburg take on Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Sunday, with the visitors looking to begin a winning run as they attempt to climb back into the Champions League qualification positions.

The hosts, meanwhile, have slipped down the table in recent weeks after losing six of their last seven league games.


Match preview

FC Augsburg coach Heiko Herrlich before the match on January 23, 2021© Reuters

While Augsburg have endured a difficult time of things recently, it would be fair to say that their fixture list has been very unkind.

Leverkusen represent Augsburg's fifth opponent in the Bundesliga's top six within their last six matches, with Heiko Herrlich's side winning the only time they faced a side positioned outside the top six in that timeframe when they came up against Union Berlin.

As you would expect from a defensively disciplined outfit, they have not been embarrassed in any of those matches, either, never losing by more than two goals. Augsburg simply came up short in last Friday's 2-1 defeat at RB Leipzig, with Dani Olmo and Christopher Nkunku capping a rampant first half for Julian Nagelsmann's side before they took their foot off the gas and allowed Daniel Caligiuri to force a nervy finish from the penalty spot.

Herrlich's side may have more joy against a Leverkusen team who have shown serious defensive vulnerabilities in recent weeks, but they will need to keep things tight at the back in the early stages.

Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba celebrates scoring in January 2021© Reuters

Indeed, Peter Bosz will have been absolutely furious with the manner in which his side dropped points in last weekend's 2-2 draw with struggling Mainz 05.

Leverkusen were far from at their best throughout the match, but took an early lead when Lucas Alario prodded home for his ninth league goal in nine starts after superb wing play by Moussa Diaby.

The hosts looked like they had got away with one when substitute Patrik Schick combined superb strength and composure to comfortably hold off the challenge of Stefan Bell, before cheekily placing the ball between the legs of Robin Zentner to double Leverkusen's lead with only six minutes of normal time remaining.

However, Bo Svensson's side had other ideas, with Moussa Niakhate finding Robert Glatzel to open his account for Mainz in the 89th minute, before Sven Bender's poor clearance was directed straight at Kevin Stoger deep in injury time, with the substitute salvaging a dramatic draw.

Leverkusen were involved in yet another topsy-turvy encounter against Young Boys in their Europa League last-32 first leg on Thursday night, miraculously overturning a 3-0 deficit at half time before Theoson Siebatcheu's 89th-minute strike sealed an incredible 4-3 win for the Swiss outfit. Bosz's side could well find themselves physically and emotionally spent ahead of their trip to Augsburg.

Augsburg Bundesliga form: LLWLLL

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form: LWLLWD
Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions): LLLWDL


Team News

FC Augsburg's Florian Niederlechner celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on January 23, 2021© Reuters

Augsburg will remain without Fredrik Jensen and Iago, while this match is likely to come a little too soon for Alfred Finnbogason as the striker nears a return from his muscle injury.

Forwards Florian Niederlechner, Ruben Vargas and Marco Richter will all be in contention for a start having only been used from the substitutes' bench in the defeat at Leipzig.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, lost goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky to a serious ankle injury in the draw against Mainz, meaning Niklas Lomb will continue to deputise in goal.

Karim Bellarabi, Lars Bender, Mitchell Weiser, Paulinho and Santiago Arias are all unlikely to travel to Augsburg, with Julian Baumgartlinger out for the season with a knee issue.

Bosz will once again have the dilemma of whether to start Alario or Schick in attack - with both strikers in superb goalscoring form this season, surely trying both in tandem in attack would be a worthwhile experiment.

Augsburg possible starting lineup:
Gikiewicz; Gumny, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Pedersen; Strobl, Gruezo; Caligiuri, Benes, Hahn; Niederlechner

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Lomb; Fosu-Mensah, Tah, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven; Wirtz, Aranguiz, Demirbay; Bailey, Schick, Diaby


SM words green background

We say: Augsburg 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen

With Leverkusen's defence reaching crisis levels, we can see Augsburg picking up a positive result from this match.

They may require a lead to hold onto in order to do so, as Leverkusen's pace in transition could be too much to handle if Herrlich's side are forced to chase the game.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann pictured on January 23, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern65102351816
2Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen6411167913
3Wolfsburg641185313
4Borussia DortmundDortmund64021712512
5Mainz 05631263310
6FC Koln623110829
7Freiburg52306429
8Union BerlinUnion Berlin62318809
9Hoffenheim622211838
10RB Leipzig621312757
11Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach621369-37
12Hertha Berlin6204718-116
13Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt605169-35
14Augsburg512228-65
15Stuttgart5113912-34
16Arminia Bielefeld604236-34
17VfL BochumVfL Bochum5104413-93
18Greuther Furth6015416-121

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