Bayer Leverkusen will look to drag themselves back into the race for Champions League qualification when they host Freiburg on Sunday at 5:00pm (UK time).
Peter Bosz’s men currently sit fifth in the table, five points adrift of Eintracht Frankfurt with a game in hand. Freiburg, meanwhile, are ninth but can go within three points of Leverkusen with a win here and will not be giving up on their hopes of Europa League qualification just yet.
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Where to watch Bayer Leverkusen vs Freiburg on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 1
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Freiburg
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Bayer Leverkusen vs Freiburg build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
While they’ve been wildly inconsistent of late, winning just one of their last eight games across all competitions and exiting the Europa League and DFB-Pokal in the process, Leverkusen are still well within the fight for Champions League qualification. Just five points separate Die Werkself from Eintracht in fourth, with Leverkusen having played a game less. However, Bosz will know his chances in this game depend upon how many players he actually has fit and available, with a number of important pieces facing fitness doubts on top of an already-lengthy injury list.
Freiburg have been equally unpredictable recently, picking up just two wins in their last seven Bundesliga matches, losing three and drawing two along the way. Still, Christian Streich’s men are just six points behind Leverkusen and if they can pick up a victory here, Freiburg will know they’re very much back in the race for Europa League qualification. This would represent just their third European campaign in the last 18 years, although they’ll have to do better than the 4-2 defeat they suffered in their last meeting with Leverkusen to close the gap on their hosts.
- Leverkusen (vs Young Boys): Lomb; Tah, Dragovic, Tapsoba; Frimpong, Aranguiz, Sinkgraven, Diaby*; Wirtz*; Bailey, Schick.
- Freiburg (vs Union Berlin): Muller; Schmid, Lienhart, Gulde, Gunter; Hofler, Santamaria; Holer, Grifo; Haberer, Petersen.
Leverkusen are ravaged by injury right now, with Julian Baumgartlinger, Santiago Arias, Lukas Hradecky, Mitchell Weiser and Lars Bender all on the treatment table, while Moussa Diaby is also suspended for this match. Nadiem Amiri returns to action, but Exequiel Palacios, Paulinho, Karim Bellarabi, Florian Wirtz and Lucas Alario are all doubts.
Mark Flekken and Chang-hoon Kwon are out for Freiburg, who also have doubts over Yannik Keitel and Keven Schlotterbeck.
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Players to watch:
- Leverkusen: While the suspension of Diaby is undoubtedly a blow, Bosz will be glad he can now call upon the services of January arrival, Demarai Gray. The former Leicester City man has played just 50 Bundesliga minutes across three substitute appearances so far, but already he’s managed a goal on his debut against Stuttgart, followed up by assists against Mainz and Augsburg. Considering the absent Diaby has nine goals and 10 assists to his name across all competitions this season, Bosz will be hoping Gray can have the same impact he’s had from the bench in the starting XI this weekend.
- Freiburg: Only Wolfsburg (19) and RB Leipzig (18) have conceded fewer goals than Leverkusen (24) in the Bundesliga this season and even despite their mammoth injury list, Bosz’s side can often prove a tough nut to crack. If Freiburg are to break down this disciplined defensive unit, they’re going to need Vincenzo Grifo to end his current drought. The Italian forward is Freiburg’s joint-top scorer with seven goals so far this season, while he’s also recorded a team-high five assists. However, he’s without a goal in his last eight Bundesliga appearances, notching just one assist during that time. That said, he did provide an assist the last time these two sides met earlier this season, but he’ll want to overturn a career record of one win, one draw and six defeats in eight appearances against Leverkusen.
Bundesliga 2020/21 recent form:
- Leverkusen: DDWLL
- Freiburg: LDWLW
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