Saturday, September 25, 2021

Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund

Tom Dunstan in Bundesliga, Free Soccer Predictions 10 Sep 2021

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Verdict: Over 1.5 first-half goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

In a showdown that could see a host of chances at both ends of the pitch this weekend, Bayer Leverkusen will welcome Borussia Dortmund to the BayArena on Saturday afternoon.

Bayer Leverkusen

Starting with the hosts, while Bayer Leverkusen might have been disappointed to have only opened the 2021/22 campaign with a 1-1 draw away at Union Berlin, it appears that was just a minor blip for Die Werkself. Making the decision to appoint new boss Gerardo Seoane over the summer, they were last seen heading into the international break a fortnight ago enjoying a real purple patch. Once again securing themselves another European finish last season, the one-time Young Boys manager has seen his side collect seven points from their opening three Bundesliga matchups. More impressive, laying down what was a real marker as they stormed their way to a 4-0 victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach on August 21st, Leverkusen were also last seen hitting Augsburg for four on the road. Looking to cause what some would bill as an upset this weekend, Seoane could be calling on Patrik Schick to spearhead their charge. Really catching the eye at the European Championships over the summer, the 25-year-old has claimed back-to-back Bundesliga strikes.

Team News

Leverkusen will be without the trio of Charles Aranguiz, Exequiel Palacios and Piero Hincapie as they are forced to isolate themselves following their return from South America.

Edmond Tapsoba (ankle), Julian Baumgartlinger (knee), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (knee) are all likely to miss out this weekend.

Borussia Dortmund

As for the visitors, laying down what was a real marker on the opening weekend as they breezed their way to an impressive 5-2 romp against Eintracht Frankfurt in rural Germany, Marco Rose’s new side have once again gained a reputation for their inconsistencies. Despite hanging on to an action-packed 3-2 win against Hoffenheim on home soil, the former Gladbach boss has seen his new side lose two of their last three matchups across all formats, a run that saw Bayer Munich lift the Super Cup thanks to a 3-1 win. Desperate to prove that their shock 2-1 defeat away at Freiburg on August 21st was just a blip, BVB will also be desperate to find some much-needed form at the back. Remarkably, Dortmund have conceded at least a pair of goals in all four of their competitive matchups s far this season. However, despite their issues at the back, Saturday’s guests do have one attacking talisman enjoying another free-scoring purple patch. Including a hat-trick against Gibraltar in midweek, Norweigan superstar Erling Haaland has already racked up 11 goals for club and country so far.

Team News

In what they hope will be a real defensive boost this weekend, German international Mats Hummels could be set to make his return from injury at the BayArena.

However, adding Emre Can to their growing injury list, the likes of Soumaila Coulibaly, Mateu Morey, Marcel Schmelzer and Dan-Axel Zagadou will once again miss out here.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last faced off on Bundesliga duties back in May, Borussia Dortmund picked up a 3-1 win on home soil.
    • Each of the last seven straight meetings between Saturday’s opponents have finished with over 2.5 goals.
    • Including a hat-trick on international duties in midweek, Erling Haaland has recorded 11 goals for club and country so far this season.
    • Bayer Leverkusen have picked up seven points from their opening three Bundesliga contests.
    • Likewise, this weekend’s hosts bagged a quartet of goals in their back-to-back appearances before heading into the international break.

    Conclusion

    On paper, it is hard to see anything other than what could be another action-packed affair at the BayArena this weekend. While Dortmund, and attacking talisman Erling Haaland might open Saturday’s meeting as a standout pick, they have once again shown a host of issues at the back. Now shipping at least a pair of goals in all four of their first competitive matchups so far this season, a free-scoring Leverkusen side should be smelling the chance to spring an upset. Heading into the international break with back-to-back 4-1 and 4-0 wins against Gladbach and Freiburg, chances should come thick and fast here. In a battle between two sides who have a habit of producing fireworks, we could have quite the contest on our hands.

    Verdict: Over 1.5 first-half goals

    Best Odds: 11/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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