This is a battle of two teams which blew their own chance to pick up three points last week. They both made a blunder which cost their own target. Freiburg are still hoping to steal a spot for Europa League next season while Leverkusen is aiming to secure Champions League zone. Thus, the host failed to put pressure on Wolfsburg on the sixth, whereas Kai Havertz and Co even had worse consequence as they slips to the fifth in the standings. It is surely one decisive clash for both.
The teams’ latest news
Niels Petersen and Co failed to win again last week. Their prospective three points slipped away despite having two-goal lead while visiting Frankfurt in Commerzbank Arena. They eventually had 3-3 draw against the host. Vicenzo Grifo opened the scoreline first before Andre Silva’s header equalised by taking the deflected ball in the penalty box. At the second half, Freiburg led once more by Niels Petersen and Lucas Holer in less then three minutes. Unfortunately, Robin Koch’s blunder gave the advantage for Daichi Kamada to score and Timothy Chandler finally denied Freiburg’s win with his goal on the 82nd minutes.
Their counterpart, Leverkusen, already made a mistake from the beginning by changing their winning formation in the line up. They were shockingly trashed by Wolfsburg 1-4 last week. The visitor side even managed to bag four goals first by Marin Pongracic’s brace, Max Arnold’s free kick and Renato Steffen’s header before the host scored a consolation goal by Julian Baumgartlinger. Such result marked the end of the home side’s positive trend.
Christian Streich is likely to deploy 4-4-2 again such as last week. Yet, he needs to focus on the improvement of his defensive line. Niels Petersen and Luca Waldschimdt or Lucas Holer will be the duo front men supported by Vicenzo Grifo and Chang-Hoon Kwon on both sides. He could attempt to maximise the set pieces, which seems to be Leverkusen’s exposed defensive frailty.
Peter Bosz must have regretted his plan to leave 3-4-3 formation last week. Therefore, he is bound to opt for it again for this upcoming fixture. Kai Havertz will still be one of the key frontmen, possibly along with Paulinho and Lucas Alario or Karim Bellarabi since Kevin Volland’s injury and Moussa Diaby’s poor form last week.
Players to watch
Freiburg’s top performers this season are the experienced striker, Niels Petersen with nine goals and two assists, the left wing back Christian Gunter and the Italian Vicenzo Grifo, who also netted a goal last week.
In Leverkusen, some of their key figures lately are their youngsters such as Kai Havertz, who is lately given a role as the number nine replacing the injured Kevin Volland, the winger Moussa Diaby and the defender Edmund Tapsoda. Another notable name in the squad is Kerem Demirbay.
Freiburg vs Leverkusen Prediction
Christian Streich’s men’s real issue is apparently about protecting the lead. Since the league resumed, they have missed the opportunity to seal three points twice and even lost at home. They need to start being cautious at their defence, especially if Kai Havertz and Co are on fire. Nevertheless, a narrow win for Leverkusen seems more likely to happen.
In this covid era, playing at home does not necessarily give you an advantage. Take this match, for example, when Leverkusen are projected to win at 1.95, whereas the home side’s odds to win are only at 4.65. The draw result is at the value of 3.90.