Saturday, November 18, 2017

Prediction: Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen

Verdict: Bayern to win to nil

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: bet365

Reigning champions Bayern Munich kick off the new campaign by playing host to Bayer Leverkusen, a team that had a pretty disappointing season last term. The Bavarians are obviously overwhelming favourites, but it remains to be seen whether die Werkself can spoil the party at Allianz Arena. 

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich did ease off to another league trophy, finishing 15 points above surprise package RB Leipzig, but they once again failed to impress in Europe, crashing out in the quarter-finals after losing to eventual champions Real Madrid. The Bavarians once again gave a top team a good run for their money as they were eliminated, but nonetheless failed to mount a serious title challenge yet again. The long-awaited Champions League trophy is again the priority, as witnessed by the heavy summer spending. It remains to be seen what kind an impact the likes of James Rodriguez, Corentin Tolisso, Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Sule will have on the team’s performances, but it is clear the Bavarians now have few more quality options in their ranks. Their pre-season tour of Asia proved quite exhausting and while it certainly generated good revenue for the club, it had a pretty poor effect on team’s performances, with the Bavarians losing five of six friendly matches. In spite of serious selection problems, Bayern, however, won their first two competitive fixtures of the season against Borussia Dortmund and Chemnitzer, so maybe they are ready for the start of the league campaign after all.

Team News

Manuel Neuer, Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara are all rated doubtful, whereas James Rodriguez, Jerome Boateng and and Juan Bernat are definitely out.

Bayer Leverkusen

Last season was utterly disappointing for Bayer Leverkusen, who finished mere four points above the relegation zone when they should have instead battled for Champions League positions. The downtrend in fortunes look set to continue for die Werkself, having seen important players Javier Hernandez, Hakan Calhanoglu, Omer Toprak and Kyriakos Papadopoulos leave the club, with no proper replacements signed. Sven Bender and Dominik Kohr were the only two players to join this summer, so there is an obvious lack of quality options in the squad. Just like their next opponents, Bayer failed to impress in pre-season, suffering defeats to Sandhausen and Lazio, while sharing spoils with Bonner, Antalyaspor and Celta Vigo, and they also struggled in the DFB Pokal clash with Karlsruher. Three extra time goals eventually proved enough to secure a place in the next stage after a goalless 90 minutes, and it is clear they haven’t got a lot of reason for optimism ahead of the trip to Allianz Arena. 

Team News

Talented youngster Kai Havertz is unlikely to feature, but Kevin Kampl should shake off a thigh problem and Tin Jedvaj is out injured.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Bayern Munich won last four home games vs Bayer Leverkusen
  • Leverkusen failed to score in five of last seven meetings with Bayern
  • Bayern won seven of last ten home games in Bundesliga without conceding
  • Leverkusen lost three of last six away games in Bundesliga without scoring
  • Bayer Leverkusen on a major downtrend

Conclusion

While they failed to impress during pre-season, Bayern Munich showed serious improvement in first competitive matches of the season and we fully expect them to continue the rich vein of form despite missing several first team regulars. Bayer Leverkusen, on the other hand, are no longer a top side in Germany and their poor goalscoring run on the road looks set to continue.

Verdict: Bayern to win to nil

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: bet365

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