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May 14, 2022 at 2.30pm UK at BayArena
B. Leverkusen
2 - 1
Alario (54'), Palacios (90+7')
Diaby (18'), Baumgartlinger (26')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Haberer (88')
Eggestein (3'), Schlotterbeck (43'), Sildillia (77')

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

:Headline: Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Freiburg - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Perhaps the most intriguing clash of the final day of the Bundesliga on Saturday takes place at the BayArena, with third-placed Bayer Leverkusen hosting top-four hopefuls Freiburg.

The hosts secured a return to the Champions League with a third successive victory last time out, whilst the visitors were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat to see them removed from the driving seat ahead of matchday 34.

Match preview

Leverkusen confirmed their third-placed finish in the Bundesliga when they won a six-goal thriller at an out-of-form Hoffenheim side last Saturday.

Die Kraichgauer were clinical during the first half and took a 2-1 lead into half time against Gerardo Seoane's side, but second-half goals from Moussa Diaby, Patrik Schick and Lucas Alario sealed an impressive comeback win following an improved second half by Leverkusen.

Schick had also netted during the opening 45 at the PreZero Arena, meaning his tally for the season was taken to 24 goals in 26 Bundesliga outings for this campaign, including four in his last three games.

The Czech Republic striker has been crucial to the success of Die Werkself this season, who have enjoyed an impressive campaign during the first year of Seoane's tenure.

Saturday's hosts may not be able to change league positions on the final day, but the Swiss boss will be expecting his side to conclude the season on a high note by recording a fourth successive win when they take to the pitch at the BayArena.

Registering a win would see Leverkusen equal their tally of points picked up on their travels this season - 32 - with only 29 being picked up on home soil ahead of the final outing in front of the home faithful, which has perhaps been the reason for their lack of consistency in pushing Bayern Munich all the way for the title following a remarkable start to the campaign some months ago.

Meanwhile, visitors Freiburg will be playing for all three points themselves when they visit the BayArena on the final day.

Nothing but a win will do for Christian Streich's men if they are to stand a chance of upsetting the odds to claim the final top-four spot ahead of RB Leipzig.

The Black Forest side should well have been making the trip to Leverkusen in control of their own destiny, but a dreadful 4-1 loss at home to fellow European hopefuls Union Berlin last weekend saw Die Roten Bullen leapfrog them into fourth place.

An incredibly clinical opening 45 from their opponents saw Freiburg head into the break at 3-0 down at the Europa-Park Stadion, and despite Lucas Holer pulling a goal back during a barrage of pressure in the second half, they eventually fell to a hugely damaging defeat.

Conceding four goals in one fixture would have been unheard of some weeks ago for one of the division's best defences, but with the latest unusual defensive collapse taking their tally to 10 goals conceded in their last three outings, Streich may be required to make some tactical tweaks on Saturday.

With an in-form Schick up against them at the weekend, Freiburg will be required to return to their usual solid organisation at the back if they are to pick up all three points on the final day.

Recording a hugely impressive win away at Leverkusen may well not be enough for Freiburg however, with a significantly inferior goal difference to Leipzig meaning that Domenico Tedesco's side only require a point at relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday to secure their top-four spot regardless of the result at the BayArena.

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

Freiburg Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Freiburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

Leverkusen will remain without the Barcelona-linked Florian Wirtz on Saturday, with the youngster suffering from a serious knee injury that saw his season ended prematurely.

Amine Adli was also ruled out for the campaign many weeks ago, and the attacking duo are joined by Karim Bellarabi, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Zidan Sertdemir on the sidelines.

Kerem Demirbay has returned to training following a toe injury, but the midfielder is unlikely to be risked with nothing left to play for on the final day.

Despite Jeremie Frimpong's early return to fitness seeing him make the bench last weekend, the full-back is unlikely to displace stand-in right-back Odilon Kossounou.

As for the visitors, Yannik Keitel, Kevin Schade and Noah Weisshaupt remain unavailable for the crucial final game of the season, although the trio have been sidelined for numerous weeks now anyway.

Streich may well make some tactical alterations in an effort to tighten up his leaky defence, but in terms of personnel, he is unlikely to alter too much from his consistent starting 11 that has yielded so much success this campaign.

Super-sub Nils Petersen had no impact off the bench against Union last week, but the 33-year-old could be utilised from the start on Saturday in an effort to save Freiburg's top-four hopes.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba, Bakker; Aranguiz, Andrich; Diaby, Azmoun, Paulinho; Schick

Freiburg possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Kubler, Lienhart, N Schlotterbeck, Gunter; Eggestein, Hofler; Sallai, Holer, Grifo; Petersen

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Freiburg

Despite the hosts having nothing left to play for here, it is difficult to see them losing on the final day following their impressive end to the campaign.

Goals are surely to be expected though, with Freiburg having to go in search of all three points, and with the likes of Schick and Diaby proving devastating on the counter attack for much of this season, we can see the hosts finding the back of the net on multiple occasions to end their opponent's top-four dream.

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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Bundesliga Table
CBayern MunichBayern34245597376077
2Borussia DortmundDortmund34223985523369
3Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen34197880473364
4RB Leipzig341771072373558
5Union BerlinUnion Berlin3416995044657
7FC Koln341410105249352
8Mainz 0534137145045546
10Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach34129135461-745
11Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt341012124549-442
13VfL BochumVfL Bochum34126163852-1442
16Hertha Berlin3496193771-3433
RArminia Bielefeld34513162753-2628
RGreuther Furth3439222882-5418
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Serie A Table
1AC Milan38268469313886
2Inter Milan38259484325284
8Atalanta BCAtalanta3816111165481759
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona381411136559653
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