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

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

Bayern Munich take on Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Tuesday having taken a huge step towards claiming a ninth successive league title with a 3-2 win at Wolfsburg at the weekend.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, moved within six points of the Champions League qualification places with a comfortable 3-0 win against FC Koln.


Match preview

Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick pictured on April 10, 2021© Reuters

After a difficult week which saw the Bavarians crash out of the Champions League on away goals to Paris Saint-Germain at the quarter-final stage, as well as drop two points at home to Union Berlin, it was important for Bayern to recover with a positive result against the in-form Wolves.

In truth, Bayern did have a huge amount of pressure relieved from their shoulders after RB Leipzig missed the opportunity to move within two points of the league leaders by only drawing 0-0 to Hoffenheim on Friday night, but becoming the first away side to win at the Volkswagen Arena in the Bundesliga this season was an impressive achievement nonetheless.

Jamal Musiala showed England's loss is Germany's gain with a superb first-half brace, squeezing an opener past Koen Casteels at the near post before Wolfsburg's goalkeeper made a serious howler by dropping a routine cross, which allowed Eric Choupo-Moting a simple finish to score his third goal in four starts and double his side's lead in the process.

Musiala restored Bayern's two-goal cushion with a fine header after Wout Weghorst had struck back, with Maximilian Philipp setting up a nervy finish in the second half, but Oliver Glasner's side could not find an equaliser.

While the Bundesliga title looks assured once again given that they now have a seven-point lead over Leipzig with only five matches remaining, Bayern's search for a new manager will begin after Hansi Flick confirmed that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season following a power struggle with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

The 56-year-old has been strongly linked with becoming Joachim Low's successor in charge of the German national team.

Bayer Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Leverkusen's new era has already begun after sacking Peter Bosz last month, with interim manager Hannes Wolf impressing in his three matches in charge so far.

The 40-year-old has switched Die Werkself's formation from 4-3-3 to 3-4-2-1, noticeably ensuring that there is more protection in place when the opposition counter-attack, which was a consistent weakness during Bosz's tenure.

Indeed, Klaas Jan Huntelaar's late consolation strike for Schalke 04 has been the only goal Leverkusen have conceded in Wolf's short reign so far, although that is likely to change at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

However, despite having fewer shots and less possession than Koln on Saturday, Markus Gisdol's struggling outfit failed to lay a glove on their opponents as Leon Bailey's brace and Moussa Diaby, who has featured in more of a right wing-back role under Wolf, scored to secure a comfortable win for their side and cement their position in the Europa League qualification places.

Should Wolf's side manage to go on a winning run between now and the end of the season, finishing inside the top four is not completely out of the equation yet, especially with Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt both faltering in recent weeks.

Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Bayern Munich form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

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


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Team News

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski reacts on January 17, 2021© Reuters

Robert Lewandowski has resumed full training after recovering from a knee injury, with Flick revealing he would "have to wait until Tuesday" before deciding whether to use his top goalscorer against Leverkusen.

With no Champions League action to rush him back for, though, the Poland striker is likely to have to wait until the trip to Mainz 05 at the weekend before receiving some minutes from his departing manager.

Niklas Sule, Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka are both likely to return then, too, with Douglas Costa, Marc Roca, Ron-Thorben Hoffmann and Malik Tillman all facing a race against time to feature again this campaign.

Musiala should keep his place in the starting XI after an inspired brace against Wolfsburg, with Kingsley Coman potentially replacing Leroy Sane on the opposite flank.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, hope to welcome Lars Bender back to first-team action in the coming weeks after the defender's meniscus injury, but he is unlikely to feature against Bayern.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Julian Baumgartlinger are out for the rest of the season with ACL injuries, with Florian Wirtz and Santiago Arias both sidelined for the time being, too.

Patrik Schick was preferred to Lucas Alario in attack against Koln and is set to keep his place after an improved offensive showing from Wolf's side.

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Alaba; Coman, Muller, Musiala; Choupo-Moting

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Jedvaj, Bender, Tapsoba; Diaby, Aranguiz, Palacios, Wendell; Bailey, Amiri; Schick


SM words green background

We say: Bayern Munich 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Despite Leverkusen's improved defensive solidity under Wolf, we expect Bayern to have too much firepower for their opponents even if Lewandowski does not feature.

It should be a fairly close encounter, though, with the Bavarians potentially having some tired legs after a congested schedule and busy treatment table.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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How you voted: Bayern vs B. Leverkusen

Bayern Munich
81.8%
Draw
12.1%
Bayer Leverkusen
6.1%
99
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Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick pictured on April 10, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern31225486404671
2RB Leipzig31197555253064
3Wolfsburg31169654322257
4Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt311511562471556
5Borussia DortmundDortmund311741066422455
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen31148951351650
7Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach311210959461346
8Union BerlinUnion Berlin31111374738946
9Freiburg31118124546-141
10Stuttgart31109125251139
11Hoffenheim3199134550-536
12Mainz 053198143450-1635
13Augsburg3196163147-1633
14Hertha Berlin3079143849-1130
15Werder Bremen3179153451-1730
16Arminia Bielefeld3186172351-2830
17FC Koln3178163256-2429
RSchalke 04Schalke3027211876-5813

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