Bundesliga title hopefuls Bayer Leverkusen will look to end a three-game winless run when they take on high-flying Union Berlin in the German capital on Friday at 7.30pm (UK time).
Peter Bosz’s side currently sit third in the table but have been unable to capitalise on Bayern Munich’s recent jittery spell, having dropped points in the previous three outings. The Iron Ones meanwhile are embarking on their own journey up the table, with Urs Fischer’s men looking good value for their fifth-place position.
How to live stream Union Berlin vs Bayer Leverkusen online:
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Where to watch Union Berlin vs Bayer Leverkusen on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 1
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Union Berlin 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
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Union Berlin vs Bayer Leverkusen build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Union have been in stellar form since losing in the Berlin derby at the start of December. In the proceeding five matches they have not lost a single game, beating Borussia Dortmund in that time and claiming a point off Bayern Munich, which has seen them close the gap on Leverkusen to just four points.
So, the momentum is very much in favour of the home side this Friday, but Leverkusen will not be deterred by their recent form. Despite failing to win in any of their previous three matches, Bosz’s side have taken 29 points from a possible 45, which is their best return at this stage of the season since 2013/14 under Sami Hyypia (37).
- Union Berlin (vs Wolfsburg): Luthe; Friedrich, Knoche, Hubner; Trimmel, Griesbeck, Andrich, Ingvartsen, Lenz; Becker, Awoniyi.
- Bayer Leverkusen (vs Frankfurt): Hradecky; Bender, Tah, Tapsoba, Wendell; Amiri, Baumgartlinger, Demirbay; Diaby, Bailey, Alario.
The capital club has an extensive casualty list, with the likes of Max Kruse, Nico Schlotterbeck, Anthony Ujah, Christian Gentner and Joel Pohjanpalo currently occupying the treatment tables. However, the hosts did welcome back Grischa Promel, who was suspended for the 2-2 with Wolfsburg in the previous match.
For Leverkusen, long-term absentees Paulinho, Santiago Arias and Exequiel Palacios continue their respective recoveries away from the turf, while the likes of Karim Bellarabi, Mitchell Weiser and Sven Bender are nearing a return to the pitch, but this match may have come too soon.
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Players to watch:
Union Berlin: Collectively the Berliners have been a competent outlet, losing just one of their last 14 league games, and currently enjoying a five-game unbeaten run. They’ve scored in each of their last 16 Bundesliga games (34 in total), which is a club record, and one player who has really come to the fore in that department is Sheraldo Becker. The Ajax academy graduate has netted in the last two games, breaking the deadlock in a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen and levelling the tie against Wolfsburg, which is subsequently the first time in his career that he has scored in successive fixtures. Fischer will now be hoping that this is the start of a new scoring edge to his forward, and that he can do the business against a stubborn Leverkusen defence.
Bayer Leverkusen: Talking of stubborn defences, the Werkself have only conceded 15 Bundesliga goals this season – their best defensive record since 2013/14 (14), and second only behind RB Leipzig (12) as the most watertight backline in the German top-flight this term. Those resilience defensive showings can be attributed to the disciplined and tenacious exploits of 21-year-old Edmond Tapsoba. The 6ft 4in Burkina Faso international has been near-impenetrable at the back for Bosz’s side this term, making more interceptions (19) and blocked shots (six) than any other Leverkusen player, while also ranking second for aerials won (23) and crosses blocked (five).
Bundesliga 2020/21 recent form:
- Union Berlin: DWWDD
- Bayer Leverkusen: DLLWW
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