Monday, May 20, 2024

Prediction: SC Freiburg vs Bayer Leverkusen

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/20

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Bundesliga table-toppers Bayer Leverkusen will aim to extend their winning streak to seven consecutive league matches as they journey to face Freiburg on Sunday.

On the other hand, the hosts snapped a six-game winless run in the league by clinching victory against VfL Bochum last weekend.

SC Freiburg

Freiburg’s away victory against Bochum came as somewhat of a surprise, especially considering Bochum had only suffered two defeats in 12 home games prior to the match.

Maximilian Eggestein and Michael Gregoritsch scored for Freiburg, giving them a comfortable two-goal lead, although Ivan Ordets pulled one back for Bochum with around 30 minutes remaining. Despite Bochum’s efforts, including 24 shots and 60% possession, they couldn’t find an equalizer as Freiburg’s defence held firm.

The win was particularly impressive considering Freiburg’s recent schedule, which included a victory against last season’s UEFA Conference League winners West Ham, in the Europa League last-16. However, Freiburg suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat in the second leg at London Stadium, with Mohamed Kudus scoring a remarkable solo goal for the Premier League side.

Despite their strong home record, with only Stuttgart managing to defeat them in their last 10 league matches at Europa-Park Stadion, Freiburg may be apprehensive about facing their upcoming opponents, given their relentless form.

Team News

Freiburg will need to find a replacement for Eggestein, who received his fifth caution of the season and subsequent one-match suspension after scoring against Bochum. Yannik Keitel is expected to partner Nicolas Hofler in central midfield in Eggestein’s absence.

Injury concerns persist for Noah Weisshaupt, Kenneth Schmidt, Max Rosenfelder, and Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, who remain sidelined. However, Jordy Makengo and Philipp Lienhart could recover from illness and a groin strain, respectively, and may be included among the substitutes.

Bayer Leverkusen

Meanwhile, Leverkusen continue their impressive unbeaten streak, extending it to 37 matches across all competitions this season. Xabi Alonso’s team maintained their commanding 10-point lead at the Bundesliga summit by defeating Wolfsburg in their previous outing.

Die Werkself received a significant advantage when Moritz Jenz was sent off for a second yellow card just 28 minutes into the game. Former Southampton winger Nathan Tella capitalized on their numerical superiority, breaking the deadlock less than 10 minutes later. Although Leverkusen couldn’t add to their lead until Florian Wirtz scored his tenth goal of the campaign four minutes from time.

In the Europa League, Leverkusen narrowly preserved their unbeaten record by coming from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against Qarabag in the first leg of their last-16 tie. Patrik Schick’s late equalizer proved crucial. In the return leg at BayArena, Leverkusen faced another tough challenge from the Azerbaijani champions in second leg, going two goals down at home as well, but Schick’s brace in injury time helped them overturn a two-goal deficit, setting up an exciting quarter-final clash against West Ham.

While Alonso and his team have their sights set on a remarkable treble of trophies this season, their primary focus is likely winning the club’s first-ever Bundesliga title. With Bayern Munich expected to win against Darmstadt, it’ll be important for Leverkusen to win this game, especially after witnessing their title rivals drop points at Freiburg just two weekends ago.

Team News

Leverkusen will receive a boost with the return of Jeremie Frimpong, who missed the victory against Wolfsburg due to suspension. The 23-year-old right wing-back has been a significant offensive threat, having scored eight league goals this season, and is expected to reclaim his spot in the starting XI after finding the net in midweek.

However, Victor Boniface remains sidelined with a groin injury, while Jonas Hofmann, Matej Kovar, and Arthur are also unavailable due to muscular issues.

Schick is set to return to the visitors’ attack following his heroic performance off the bench in midweek.

Conclusion

Freiburg’s resilience at home under Streich is well-documented. Nevertheless, Leverkusen’s unbeaten streak across all competitions this season presents a formidable challenge.

A narrow victory for Leverkusen seems plausible, allowing them to maintain their significant lead at the top of the table.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/20

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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