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Leverkusen logo
Bundesliga | Gameweek 13
Dec 3, 2023 at 4.30pm UK
Dortmund logo
B. Leverkusen
1 - 1
Okoh Boniface (79')
Frimpong (12'), Palacios (74'), Odilon (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Ryerson (5')
Hummels (77'), Wolf (90+1')

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

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

Bayer Leverkusen will be aiming to maintain their place at the top of the Bundsliga table when they host Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

Dortmund returned to winning ways against Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend, but they head into this encounter 10 points behind their forthcoming opponents.

Match preview

Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz in action on November 25, 2023© Reuters

Leverkusen, of course, have been winning all season. Xabi Alonso's side's comfortable 3-0 victory away to Werder Bremen was their 11th win in 12 league games this season, meaning only second-placed Bayern Munich have prevented them from winning in all competitions.

Jeremie Frimpong and Alex Grimaldo continued their sensational goalscoring form from the wing-back areas after Olivier Deman's early own goal had handed their side an early lead at Weserstadion. Leverkusen were completely dominant across the course of the match, restricting Werder Bremen to only two shots in total in their own stadium.

Die Werkself proceeded to secure their 18th win in 19 matches by dispatching Hacken 2-0 in Norway in the Europa League on Thursday, with strikers Victor Boniface and Patrik Schick both getting themselves on the scoresheet either side of half time. As winners of Group H, Leverkusen will bypass the playoff stage of Europe's secondary competition and head straight into the last 16 from March 2024 onwards.

As such, Alonso and his players have three months to focus on the domestic competitions, as they look to win the club's first trophy for over three decades. They have a winnable home tie against Paderborn in the third round of the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday, which is sandwiched by massive matches against fourth-placed Dortmund and third-placed Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.

With the reigning champions Bayern continuing to rack up wins only two points behind them, Leverkusen could find themselves kicking-off against BVB in second position should the Bavarians dispatch Union Berlin earlier in the weekend as expected. It is clearly a pivotal week in the club's campaign as they look to build on their exceptional opening period in their quest for glory in at least one competition.

Borussia Dortmund's Karim Adeyemi celebrates scoring their third goal with Julian Ryerson, Salih Ozcan and Emre Can on November 28, 2023© Reuters

Having come so close to finally dethroning Bayern as champions last season, when they failed to beat Mainz 05 at Westfalenstadion as was required to lift the title on the final day of the campaign, Dortmund surely require all three points at BayArena if they are to stand any chance of winning the Bundesliga for the first time since 2012.

BVB came from two goals behind to defeat Gladbach last time out in the Bundesliga, with Marcel Sabitzer, Niclas Fullkrug and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens overturning their side's early deficit during a crazy first half. The victory saw them leapfrog Leipzig into fourth place in the table.

In reality, in terms of the title picture, an eight-point deficit to Bayern after 12 matches may prove impossible to recover regardless of whether Leverkusen can continue their phenomenal form, meaning Edin Terzic's focus may be on the cup competitions and ensuring his side's qualification for the Champions League next season.

BVB have performed exceptionally in Europe's elite competition this time out, with their 3-1 win away to AC Milan booking their place in the knockout stages with a game to spare. Despite being drawn alongside Paris Saint-Germain, Newcastle United and Milan in the 'Group of Death', Terzic's side will progress as group winners if they can avoid defeat to PSG on the final matchday later this month.

Dortmund have a difficult trip to high-flying Stuttgart in the third round of the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday, before hosting potential Champions League qualification rivals RB Leipzig next weekend. However, they must be fully focused and performing close to their best levels if they are to stand any chance of inflicting Leverkusen's first defeat of the season, and realistically remain in the title race in the process.

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form:

Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions):

Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:

Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):

Team News

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso reacts on November 25, 2023© Reuters

Leverkusen will remain without Arthur due to a long-term thigh injury, but Florian Wirtz is in contention to start despite being withdrawn against Werder Bremen due to a muscle injury; the 20-year-old has been in exceptional form this season, so Alonso will be giving the Germany international every chance of starting.

Alonso made eight changes for his side's trip to Gothenburg on Thursday, with only Boniface, Robert Andrich and Piero Hincapie retaining their starting berths from their team's win in Bremen. The Spaniard will pick what he considers to be his strongest XI for such a big match, meaning Jonas Hofmann and Granit Xhaka will almost certainly start.

Dortmund, meanwhile, will travel without Julian Duranville and Felix Nmecha due to thigh and hip issues, while Marcel Lotka is suspended. Niklas Sule is a major doubt due to illness after missing the trip to San Siro in midweek.

Terzic's only change between his side's wins against Gladbach and Milan was bringing Donyell Malen in for Julian Brandt in midweek, and he is likely to bring the Germany attacking midfielder back into the fold here due to his technical proficiency.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba; Frimpong, Palacios, Xhaka, Grimaldo; Hofmann, Wirtz; Boniface

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Bensebaini; Can, Sabitzer; Reus, Brandt, Bynoe-Gittens; Fullkrug

SM words green background

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Borussia Dortmund

There is little doubt that this match is the stand-out game of the weekend in the Bundesliga, with both teams desperate for all three points for different reasons. Leverkusen will need to win to return to the top of the table should Bayern defeat Union Berlin as expected, while Dortmund must close the gap on their opponents.

Despite Dortmund's hugely positive week, Leverkusen are playing at a higher level at the moment, and we can envisage them coming out on top in what could be a classic encounter.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 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 2.5:data

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rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
1Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen23194059164361
2Bayern MunichBayern22162461253650
4Borussia DortmundDortmund22118344271741
5RB Leipzig22124648282040
6Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt228953428633
7Werder Bremen228593134-329
11VfL BochumVfL Bochum2251072641-1525
13Union BerlinUnion Berlin2273122135-1424
15Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach2257103643-722
16FC Koln2237121536-2116
17Mainz 05Mainz2329121837-1915
18SV Darmstadt 98Darmstadt2226142351-2812

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