Bayer Leverkusen will look to build on their important win over Dortmund when they host Wolfsburg on Saturday at 2:30pm (UK time).
Peter Bosz’s men put an end to their recent slump with a 2-1 victory over Dortmund in mid-week, but cannot let up against a Wolfsburg side just two places and three points behind them in the table.
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Where to watch Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Leverkusen 1-1 Wolfsburg
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Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Leverkusen suffered a wobble in form after throwing away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 against Bayern Munich in December, going three without a win in the Bundesliga with their only victory in that time coming against Eintracht Frankfurt (4-1) in the DFB-Pokal.
However, Die Werkself put an end to that slump with an impressive win at home to Dortmund, with Moussa Diaby and Florian Wirtz inspiring a 2-1 success against their fellow Bundesliga giants.
Leverkusen will have their work cut out for them against a Wolfsburg side enjoying a run of just one defeat in their last six games across all competitions. Oliver Glasner’s men beat Mainz 2-0 last time out to draw level with fourth-placed Dortmund, and they could pull alongside Leverkusen with another win here.
- Leverkusen (vs Dortmund): Hradecky; L. Bender, Tah, Tapsoba, Wendell; Wirtz, Aranguiz, Amiri; Diaby, Alario, Bailey.
- Wolfsburg (vs their previous opponents): Casteels; Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Otavio; Schlager, Arnold; Brekalo, Philipp, Steffen; Weghorst.
Leverkusen are still riddled with injury problems, with Exequiel Palacios, Santiago Arias and Paulinho out until February. Bosz is also likely to be without Karim Bellarabi, Mitchell Weiser, Julian Baumgartlinger and Sven Bender for the visit of Wolfsburg, too.
Jerome Roussillon and Jeffrey Bruma are out for Wolfsburg, but Glasner has an otherwise full-strength squad to choose from.
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Players to watch:
- Leverkusen: The Bundesliga has, once again, played host to a clutch of exciting young talents so far this season, including American duo Giovanni Reyna and Matthew Hoppe, as well as England prospect Jude Bellingham. However, you could argue none have caught the eye as much as Florian Wirtz who, at just 17 years old, is quickly elevating himself as Leverkusen’s most important player. Wirtz has scored the second-highest number of goals (3) among teenagers in the Bundesliga so far this season, while no player under 20 has provided more than his four assists. Given his immense output in the final third and uncanny ability glide past opposition defenders, it’s no surprise that his return to action coincided with a Leverkusen win after Wirtz sat out the defeat to Union Berlin and a draw with Werder Bremen. After netting the winning goal against Dortmund last time out, Wirtz will be keen to once again illustrate his incredible talent against Wolfsburg.
- Wolfsburg: Only RB Leipzig (14) and Leverkusen (17) have conceded fewer goals than Wolfsburg (19) in the Bundesliga this season and it’s fair to say their success thus far has been predicated on defensive solidity. At the heart of that rearguard effort is United States international, John Brooks, who has played the second-highest number of minutes (1,367) among Wolfsburg’s outfield players in 2020/21. Brooks is second only to towering forward Wout Weghorst (51) when it comes to aerial duels won (46) this campaign, while he’s third for interceptions (24) and first for clearances (68) throughout the Wolfsburg squad. As brilliant at backs-to-the-wall defending as he is, Brooks is also a superb ball-player, completing the highest number of passes (802) and the second-highest number of long passes (80) among his teammates. His ability on both sides of the ball will be vital on the road at Leverkusen this weekend.
Bundesliga 2020/21 recent form:
- Leverkusen: WLDLL
- Wolfsburg: WDDLW
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