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Preview: Werder Bremen vs. Bayer Leverkusen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Werder Bremen take on Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the hosts looking to end a dismal run of seven successive defeats as they look to move away from the relegation zone.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, are looking to cement their Europa League qualification spot.


Match preview

Werder Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt pictured on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Having navigated Bremen to safety via a relegation playoff against Heidenheim at the end of last season, Florian Kohfeldt looked to have secured his side's top-flight status through more conventional measures after a decent first half of the campaign.

However, a run of seven consecutive losses has seen them fall to within one point of the relegation playoff position, although that could become an automatic relegation place should Hertha Berlin beat Freiburg on Thursday evening and leapfrog Bremen and Arminia Bielefeld in the table in the process.

Joel Pohjanpalo's clinical second-half hat-trick took the game away from Kohfeldt's side last time out in the Bundesliga in a 3-1 defeat to Union Berlin, with Theodor Gebre Selassie's late strike proving nothing more than a consolation one.

There was to be no welcome distraction of an 11th DFB-Pokal final for the club, either, after a 2-1 defeat to RB Leipzig after extra time in last weekend's semi-final.

Bremen displayed the battling qualities they will require in order to survive by holding Julian Nagelsmann's outfit to a 0-0 draw in normal time, but Emil Forsberg sunk Die Werderaner hearts with an injury-time winner after Hwang Hee-chan and Leonardo Bittencourt had earlier scored for either side in extra time.

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

Leverkusen, meanwhile, are enjoying a considerably less dramatic time of things at present than their forthcoming opponents under their new manager Hannes Wolf, who has guided them to 10 points from his first five matches in charge.

The 40-year-old, who replaced Peter Bosz on an interim basis last month, has helped cement Leverkusen's position in the Europa League qualification places, with Borussia Monchengladbach and Union Berlin both four points behind them.

The 3-1 win against high-flying Eintracht Frankfurt last time out was a particularly impressive one, with Leon Bailey breaking the deadlock after 70 minutes before Lucas Alario and Kerem Demirbay scored either side of Andre Silva's 90th-minute strike to seal the victory.

Should they condemn Bremen to an eighth successive defeat on Saturday, Leverkusen's place in Europe's second-tier competition should be all but confirmed, with Wolf hoping to be the man chosen to lead them.

Werder Bremen Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Werder Bremen form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

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



Team News

Werder Bremen's Omer Toprak reacts on the ground on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Competing in the latter stages of the DFB-Pokal looks to have come at a major cost to Bremen, with Niclas Fullkrug and Jean-Manuel Mbom both suffering season-ending knee injuries during the defeat to Leipzig.

Kevin Mohwald and Bittencourt could be chosen by Kohfeldt to replace them in his starting XI, with Milot Rashica facing a race against time to recover from his groin injury this campaign.

Omer Toprak is likely to miss out once again due to a calf issue, while Marco Friedl, Nick Woltemade and Luca Plogmann are all ruled out.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, have also lost two key players for the rest of the season, with Alario and Charles Aranguiz suffering serious tendon injuries in training.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Lars Bender and Julian Baumgartlinger were already out for the rest of the campaign due to knee injuries, while Santiago Arias is still awaiting his comeback from a broken ankle.

Wolf may choose the same starting XI as the one which impressively dispatched Frankfurt, although Moussa Diaby will be hoping for a recall.

Werder Bremen possible starting lineup:
Pavlenka; Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson; Mohwald, Gross, Eggestein; Sargent, Selke, Bittencourt

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Tah, Dragovic, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven; Palacios, Demirbay; Diaby, Wirtz, Bailey; Schick


SM words green background

We say: Werder Bremen 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen

Leverkusen seem to be in a good moment right now, and as such should have too much attacking firepower for Bremen to be able to handle.

The visitors may have to remain patient as, even during their recent losing run, Kohfeldt's side are often tough to break down in the early exchanges, so the first goal in this match will almost certainly be a crucial one.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data


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How you voted: Werder Bremen vs B. Leverkusen

Werder Bremen
40.0%
Draw
11.4%
Bayer Leverkusen
48.6%
35
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Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick pictured on April 10, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBayern MunichBayern34246499445578
2RB Leipzig34198760322865
3Borussia DortmundDortmund342041075462964
4Wolfsburg341710761372461
5Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt341612669531660
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen3414101053391452
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin34121485043750
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach341310116456849
9Stuttgart34129135655145
10Freiburg34129135252045
11Hoffenheim341110135254-243
12Mainz 0534109153956-1739
13Augsburg34106183654-1836
14Hertha Berlin34811154152-1135
15Arminia Bielefeld3498172652-2635
16FC Koln3489173460-2633
RWerder Bremen34710173657-2131
RSchalke 04Schalke3437242586-6116

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