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

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

Bayer Leverkusen take on Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga on Sunday, with the visitors looking to spring an upset to move out of the relegation zone.

The home team, meanwhile, can move back into the Champions League qualification places with a win if RB Leipzig also beat fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt later on Sunday.


Match preview

Bayer Leverkusen players celebrate Moussa Diaby's goal against Borussia Dortmund on January 19, 2021© Reuters

After picking up only two points from their previous three matches, last weekend's 1-0 win at Borussia Monchengladbach was a huge result for Leverkusen as they look to recover from a testing period.

Having led the Bundesliga until the last game prior to the winter break, when Robert Lewandowski's last minute winner for Bayern Munich saw the Bavarians leapfrog Peter Bosz's side into top spot, Leverkusen have since only taken 12 points from 11 games to fall outside of the Champions League qualification places, as well as being unceremoniously dumped out of the Europa League by Young Boys.

However, Gladbach have been floundering to an ever greater extent since the news broke that Marco Rose will depart to manage Borussia Dortmund in the summer, so gaining victory against a side which narrowly pipped them to fourth spot last season would have been a particularly sweet one for Bosz and his players.

Demarai Gray and Moussa Diaby were particularly dangerous down the flanks, with the France Under-21s winger twice racing in behind Die Fohlen's high line but firing straight at Yann Sommer on both occasions. However, Patrik Schick was on hand for the rebound second time around to stab the ball home for a 76th-minute winner, which keeps his side well and truly in the race for a top-four finish.

Arminia Bielefeld's Manuel Prietl celebrates their first goal against Bayern Munich in October 2020© Reuters

Since sensationally drawing 3-3 at Bayern last month, Arminia have failed to score in each of their four matches since, with the appointment of Frank Kramer as manager having little impact so far.

The 48-year-old gained a creditable 0-0 draw against Union Berlin in his first game in charge last weekend, but saw his side fall to a devastating 2-0 loss at home to Werder Bremen in midweek.

The match against Florian Kohfeldt's side was originally scheduled to be played at the beginning of February, but was postponed due to heavy snowfall. In truth, Arminia were a little unfortunate to come out on the wrong end of the proceedings, with Joshua Sargent and Kevin Mohwald's strikes the visitors' only two shots on target across the 90 minutes.

However, ruthlessness in front of goal can often be the difference at this level, with Arminia proving profligate in both boxes at times this season. Nathan de Medina's dismissal after 71 minutes did not help matters, either, with 26 shots and 59% possession of the ball adding to Kramer's frustration on the night. He must ensure his players' heads do not drop, though, with survival still achievable.

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

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

Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L


Team News

Bayer Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz pictured on February 21, 2021© Reuters

Leverkusen continue to have serious availability issues, with Florian Wirtz unable to take part once again after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the month.

Daley Sinkgraven, Lars Bender, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Lukas Hradecky, Sven Bender, Santiago Arias, Paulinho and Julian Baumgartlinger all remain sidelined through injury.

Leon Bailey is available for selection once again, however, having served his one-match suspension against Gladbach.

Arminia will travel without De Medina after the full-back's red card against Bremen, meanwhile, with Sergio Cordova and Cebio Soukou both injury doubts.

Kramer may be tempted to restore club legend Fabian Klos to the starting XI in order to attempt to gain more cutting edge in front of goal, having only utilised the 33-year-old from the bench against Bremen.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Grill; Frimpong, Tah, Tapsoba, Wendell; Amiri, Aranguiz, Demirbay; Bailey, Schick, Diaby

Arminia Bielefeld possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Brunner, Pieper, Nilsson, Laursen; Kunze, Prietl; Doan, Vlap, Hartel; Klos


SM words green background

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Arminia Bielefeld

We expect Leverkusen to have gained plenty of confidence from last weekend's win in Monchengladbach, with their pace in offensive areas likely to prove too much for Arminia to handle.

Kramer's side are struggling to score goals at present, although they may find Leverkusen's defence more accommodating at times than most opponents.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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.Home Win:data


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How you voted: B. Leverkusen vs Arminia Bielefeld

Bayer Leverkusen
83.3%
Draw
13.6%
Arminia Bielefeld
3.0%
66
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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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