MX23RW : Friday, February 26 04:31:32| >> :120:19218:19218:
Jan 19, 2021 at 7.30pm UK at BayArena
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
DortmundBorussia Dortmund
Diaby (14'), Wirtz (80')
Bailey (73'), Diaby (78')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Brandt (67')
Hummels (90+1'), Delaney (90+3')

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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Bundesliga clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bayer Leverkusen take on Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Tuesday, with both sides level on points in third and fourth place respectively in the table.

With Bayern Munich extending their gap to seven points ahead of these two teams, neither club can afford to lose this upcoming clash if they are to keep their slim title hopes alive.

Match preview

Bayer Leverkusen's Kerem Demirbay reacts on January 9, 2021© Reuters

It would be fair to say that Leverkusen's form has hit the rocks lately; having remained unbeaten in their first 12 league games, they have since lost three and drawn one, with their title hopes almost evaporating in the process.

Despite leading the table prior to their injury-time defeat to Bayern before the winter break, winning the Bundesliga was always going to a huge ask for Peter Bosz's side regardless of how they fared in that match. However, the 57-year-old will still be expected to deliver Champions League football to Leverkusen after narrowly missing out on a top-four position last season.

One point from three matches against Eintracht Frankfurt, Werder Bremen and Union Berlin, whom they lost 1-0 to on Saturday via Cedric Teuchert's late strike, is simply not an acceptable return with those expectations in mind.

There is now huge pressure on Bosz to deliver a positive result against Dortmund, which will not be easy given BVB's array of attacking talent with speed and precision in transition.

Borussia Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring a goal with teammates before it is disallowed following a referral to VAR on January 16, 2021© Reuters

However, Dortmund showed that they are far from the finished article under Edin Terzic by drawing 1-1 at home to Mainz 05, who had headed into the game bottom of the league.

Dropping points at home to lesser opposition seems to be a common theme at BVB regardless of who is manager, with it repeatedly being extremely costly in terms of ending their wait for a Bundesliga title.

Levin Oztunali opened the scoring for the visitors before Thomas Meunier's equaliser, with both sides having chances to win the match in the latter stages. As expected, Dortmund dominated the ball, with Erling Braut Haaland's goal disallowed by VAR, but Terzic's side could not find the breakthrough they needed.

A win at Leverkusen would certainly lift the mood, though, with a two-goal victory lifting them above both their forthcoming opponents and RB Leipzig into second place, which is probably the realistic ceiling for Dortmund's domestic campaign this season.

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form: WWLLDL
Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions): WLLDWL

Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form: LWLWWD
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions): WLWWWD

Team News

Bayer Leverkusen players celebrate Lucas Alario's goal against Borussia Monchengladbach on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Leverkusen continue to have awful luck on the injury front, with Karim Bellarabi, Mitchell Weiser, Sven Bender, Exequiel Palacios, Santiago Arias and Paulinho all ruled out for the visit of Dortmund.

Florian Wirtz is an injury doubt, too, with new signing Timothy Fosu-Mensah not available to make his debut due to personal reasons after his move from Manchester United.

Bosz may decide to hand his top goalscorer Lucas Alario a start, with the club's form seemingly dipping since Patrik Schick replaced him in the regular starting XI.

Dortmund, meanwhile, are set to be without Axel Witsel until at least late March after the midfielder underwent Achilles tendon surgery.

Marcel Schmelzer and Thorgan Hazard should return sooner than that, but both remain unavailable for the trip to Leverkusen.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Bender, Tah, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven; Amiri, Baumgartlinger, Demirbay; Diaby, Alario, Bailey

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Burki; Meunier, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Can, Delaney; Sancho, Reus, Reyna; Haaland

SM words green background

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

We can envisage Dortmund narrowly overcoming their top four rivals, with the likes of Haaland, Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho likely to hurt Leverkusen on the counter-attack.

Despite both sides possessing plenty of attacking talent, though, it could be a cagey encounter with so much at stake.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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


How you voted: B. Leverkusen vs Dortmund

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Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend in action with Manchester United's Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the Premier League on July 16, 2020
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1Bayern MunichBayern22154362313149
2RB Leipzig22145340182247
4Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt22119245301542
5Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen22107540241637
6Borussia DortmundDortmund22113845311436
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin2289535251033
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach228953833533
12Werder Bremen215882431-723
14FC Koln2256112036-1621
15Hertha Berlin2246122640-1418
16Arminia Bielefeld2153131838-2018
17Mainz 052245132343-2017
18Schalke 04Schalke2216151556-419

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