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Oct 30, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at BayArena
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
0-2
WolfsburgWolfsburg

Tah (28'), Alario (30'), Wirtz (54')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Nmecha (48'), Arnold (51')
Steffen (28'), Brooks (28')
Lacroix (90+5')

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

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

After flying out of the blocks at the beginning of the new season, both Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg will be looking to put an end to their recent dips in form when they go head to head at the BayArena on Saturday.

The hosts currently find themselves on a four-match winless streak across all competitions heading into Saturday's Bundesliga outing, whilst their visitors have failed to win in their last eight games since their 100% start to the new campaign.


Match preview

Bayer Leverkusen's Patrik Schick celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 24, 2021© Reuters

Everything seemed to be going almost perfectly for manager Gerardo Seoane since he arrived at Leverkusen in the summer, with just the one defeat against Borussia Dortmund in his opening 10 competitive fixtures in charge, with eight of these being victories.

However, since heading into matchday eight level on points with leaders and opponents Bayern Munich, in which they were hammered 5-1 on home soil, Seoane's side have failed to win again.

A draw at Real Betis in the Europa League followed that humiliation, with a return to league action in a Rhineland derby at neighbours FC Koln following that one last weekend.

Early goals from Patrik Schick and Karim Bellarabi saw Die Werkself race into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 17 minutes, but a poor display overall saw them surrender control to their hosts and let their advantage slip by conceding two second-half goals to eventually draw 2-2.

Their high-pressing and fast counter-attacking style had worked wonders in the opening weeks of the season, but this appears to have faltered in the last couple of weeks.

The winless run was extended to four on Wednesday evening, with Leverkusen falling to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to 2.Bundesliga side Karlsruher SC in the second round of the DFB-Pokal, despite naming a strong lineup.

Wolfsburg's Wout Weghorst celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 19, 2021© Reuters

Meanwhile, visitors Wolfsburg have endured an even more alarming drop off in form than their hosts recently, and one that has cost Mark van Bommel the manager's job.

The Dutchman became the first managerial casualty of the Bundesliga season when he was sacked in midweek, with Florian Kohfeldt replacing him in charge.

Kohfeldt arrives at a side sitting ninth in the table, despite being the early pace-setters after winning each of their opening four league fixtures.

Performances were concerning, though, and results were flattering the Wolves, which has caught up with them in recent weeks and prompted the hierarchy to make a swift change in manager.

Four straight defeats in all competitions has extended their run of matches without a win to eight, which includes a disappointing return of just five goals scored as well.

The 2-0 defeat at home to Freiburg last weekend was the most recent of those losses, and the game that proved to be the last of Van Bommel's short tenure in charge after only arriving in the summer.

For a side that finished in the top four in the 2020-21 campaign, more will be expected of them, and Kohfeldt will hope to get his reign off to a positive start on Saturday in order to lift his new side back up the Bundesliga table and into the European places as soon as possible.

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Wolfsburg form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L



Team News

Wolfsburg's Wout Weghorst celebrates scoring their second goal on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Both sides head into Saturday's meeting with a lengthy list of absentees to contend with.

Leverkusen will be missing the attacking talents of Moussa Diaby, Bellarabi and Schick, with the former serving a one-match suspension and the latter duo picking up slight knocks recently.

Piero Hincapie and Charles Aranguiz have also picked up knocks recently and should return early next month, whilst long-term absentees Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Julian Baumgartlinger are also nearing returns but remain out for now.

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg could be without a vital trio of attacking players themselves, with Felix Nmecha, Luca Waldschmidt and top goalscorer Wout Weghorst all doubtful for the trip due to various injuries and COVID-19.

Admir Mehmedi, Niklas Klinger and Jerome Roussillon are definitely ruled out, although the former two are yet to feature yet this season anyway.

Long-term absentees William, Xaver Schlager and Bartosz Bialek all remain out too, with returns not expected until the end of this year at the very least.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Frimpong, Tah, Kossounou, Bakker; Andrich, Demirbay; Adli, Wirtz, Paulinho; Alario

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Mbabu, Lacroix, Bornauw, Otavio; Vranckx, Guilavogui, Arnold; Baku, L Nmecha, Steffen


SM words green background

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Wolfsburg

Depending on how quickly Wolfsburg respond to the demands of their new manager, Leverkusen should manage to win this one fairly comfortably.

They may not be on a good run of form themselves, but performances have still been respectable and they are in a better position than the visitors so will be expected to record a victory on Saturday.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: B. Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg

Bayer Leverkusen
74.4%
Draw
17.9%
Wolfsburg
7.7%
78
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Bayer Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby pictured in January 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern13101242132931
2Borussia DortmundDortmund13100333191430
3Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen1373328181024
4Freiburg136431913622
5Hoffenheim136252720720
6Union BerlinUnion Berlin135532019120
7Wolfsburg136251517-220
8RB Leipzig135352416818
9Mainz 05135351714318
10FC Koln134632222018
11Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach135351818018
12Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt134631617-118
13VfL BochumVfL Bochum135171220-816
14Hertha Berlin134271327-1414
15Stuttgart133461823-513
16Augsburg133461222-1013
17Arminia Bielefeld13166919-109
18Greuther Furth1301121139-281

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