MX23RW : Sunday, July 25 00:12:49| >> :120:22629:22629:
Jun 20, 2020 at 2.30pm UK at Olympiastadion
Hertha BerlinHertha Berlin
2-0
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
Cunha (22'), Lukebakio (54')
Lukebakio (45'), Grujic (70'), Klunter (86'), Stark (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Tapsoba (52'), Dragovic (80'), Alario (83')

Preview: Hertha Berlin vs. Bayer Leverkusen - predictions, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Hertha Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen, including team news and predicted lineups.

Bayer Leverkusen will be looking to consolidate their position in the Champions League places when they travel to Hertha Berlin for their penultimate Bundesliga game of the season.

In contrast, Hertha have very little to play for in the final stages as they lie 11th in the table with two gameweeks remaining.


Match preview

Bruno Labbadia pictured in March 2019© Reuters

Hertha's 2-1 defeat to Freiburg on Wednesday evening means that Europa League qualification is now out of the question for Bruno Labbadia's men at this late stage of the campaign.

The loss in midweek was their third defeat in succession despite a promising start when the Bundesliga returned to action, and Hertha now sit eight points adrift of sixth-placed Wolfsburg after 32 matches.

Die Alte Dame are nine points clear of the bottom three so there is minimal pressure on these last couple of games, but Labbadia will be demanding more from his side no matter what the stakes are.

Hertha picked up three wins from their first four fixtures upon the league's resumption, but their form since then has drastically worsened and Labbadia's side are the only team in the division to have lost their last three matches.

Their final game of the season will be a stern test against Champions League hopefuls Borussia Monchengladbach, so Labbadia will no doubt have one eye on next season as Hertha prepare to face two of the Bundesliga's top five in the next couple of weeks.

Kai Havertz celebrates scoring for Bayer Leverkusen on May 23, 2020© Reuters

In contrast, Leverkusen's hopes of qualifying for a spot in Europe's elite competition received a huge boost as they eased to a 3-1 victory over Koln in midweek.

Manchester United and Chelsea-linked Kai Havertz bagged a goal and assist for Leverkusen, who successfully recovered from a disappointing draw with an out-of-sorts Schalke side last weekend.

Peter Bosz's side still occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot with two games remaining - one point clear of fifth-placed Monchengladbach at this crucial stage of the campaign.

Leverkusen have also reduced the gap on RB Leipzig to just three points following Fortuna Dusseldorf's storming comeback against Julian Nagelsmann's side, and Borussia Dortmund's shock defeat to Mainz 05 means that Bosz's side are only six points off second spot.

However, BVB's goal difference is far superior and they are unlikely to be overtaken by Bosz's side at this point, but Leverkusen should feel confident of securing a top-four finish with relegation-threatened Mainz set to visit the BayArena in the final weekend of the season.

Hertha enjoyed a 1-0 victory when the sides met in December courtesy of a Karim Rekik winner.

Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form: WDWLLL

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form: WLWLDW
Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions): LWLWDW


Team News

Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah pictured in September 2019© Reuters

Centre-back Dedryck Boyata should come back into the starting lineup for Hertha after missing out against Freiburg due to suspension.

Maximilian Mittelstadt and Marius Wolf remain on the sidelines for Labbadia's side, and Per Ciljan Skjelbred is also a doubt with a calf problem.

Lucas Alario returns from a one-match suspension and could replace Kevin Volland up top for Bosz's side.

Leverkusen will be without the services of Sven Bender after he picked up an ankle injury against Koln, and the German will now join his twin brother Lars Bender on the treatment table.

Bender's absence means that Jonathan Tah should come back into the defence, and Mitchell Weiser may return to the right-back position.

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Jarstein; Pekarik, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt; Grujic, Maier; Lukebakio, Darida, Esswein; Ibisevic

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Weiser, Tah, Tapsoba, Wendell; Aranguiz, Demirbay; Amiri, Havertz, Diaby; Alario


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Hertha Berlin 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen

Hertha realistically have hardly anything to play for in these final two games, and Leverkusen's confidence will be high after they returned to winning ways against Koln, so we expect Bosz's men to come away from the Olympiastadion with all three points and all but confirm a deserved Champions League spot.



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