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Jan 23, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
0-1
WolfsburgWolfsburg

Alario (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Baku (35')
Lacroix (90+3')
/esi/1339/6_G_1_119716/index.html?art_id=431470&game_id=119716&sport_id=1&ESI

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

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

Bayer Leverkusen take on Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the visitors able to move level on points with their forthcoming opponents in the table with a victory.

That prospect will have been made all the more difficult by Leverkusen's morale boosting 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, though.


Match preview

Indeed, after four league games without a victory, Peter Bosz's side looked like the team prior to the winter break once more on their way to a deserved win against their Champions League qualification rivals.

Moussa Diaby in particular was in inspired form throughout the 90 minutes, firing Leverkusen into the lead with a decisive finish in the first half before setting up teenage sensation Florian Wirtz for the winner 10 minutes from time after a sensational counter-attack.

Dortmund had rallied a little after the break, levelling proceedings via Julian Brandt's fine curling finish, but even Edin Terzic and his players would have to admit that the better team on the day earned themselves a vital three points.

Bosz must ensure that his players build on such an impressive performance and win, though, with another unbeaten run perhaps required if they are to sustain their place in the top four, and certainly to retain any lingering hopes of a challenging Bayern Munich for the title.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, got back to winning ways themselves on Tuesday with a commanding 2-0 win away to Mainz 05.

After a dour first half, Bartosz Bialek and Wout Weghorst struck twice within 15 minutes of each other to take the game away from the struggling hosts, who failed to muster a single shot on target across the entire 90 minutes.

Indeed, Wolfsburg looked much more defensively resolute than in recent weeks, with Maxence Lacroix and John Brooks back to their commanding best after suffering from illness and injury in recent weeks.

With those two and Koen Casteels forming an excellent defensive spine, aided by Weghorst scoring goals for fun in attack once again (the Dutchman has scored in each of Wolfsburg's last three league games to extend his Bundesliga tally for the season to 12), the Wolves have a genuine chance of securing Champions League football for next season.

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form: WLLDLW
Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions): LLDWLW

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form: LWLDDW
Wolfsburg form (all competitions): WWLDDW


Team News

Leverkusen have had their fair share of injuries this season, with Exequiel Palacios, Santiago Arias and Paulinho all unlikely to return until next month at the earliest after long-term issues.

Julian Baumgartlinger, Karim Bellarabi, Mitchell Weiser and Sven Bender are unlikely to be back for the visit of Wolfsburg either.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, appear to be through the worst of their availability issues after a COVID-19 outbreak in the squad over Christmas.

Jerome Roussillon and Jeffrey Bruma will not travel to Leverkusen, though, due to injury.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Bender, Tah, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven; Wirtz, Aranguiz, Amiri; Diaby, Schick, Bailey

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Otavio; Schlager, Arnold; Brekalo, Philipp, Steffen; Weghorst


We say: Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Wolfsburg

With both sides getting back to winning ways in midweek, we can envisage a closely-fought affair.

It would not be a surprise to see a draw between two evenly-matched sides both hoping to finish in the Champions League qualification places this season.


Top betting 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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern23164367323552
2RB Leipzig23155343202350
3Wolfsburg23129237191845
4Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt23119346321442
5Borussia DortmundDortmund23123848311739
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen23107641261537
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin23810536261034
8Freiburg239773735234
9Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach238964036433
10Stuttgart238874436832
11Hoffenheim2376103740-327
12Werder Bremen226882632-626
13Augsburg2375112335-1226
14FC Koln2356122141-2021
15Hertha Berlin2346132642-1618
16Arminia Bielefeld2253141841-2318
17Mainz 052345142344-2117
18Schalke 04Schalke2316161661-459
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