Bundesliga Betting Preview – Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich: Can Bayern end the Bundesliga’s longest unbeaten streak?
After a long winter break, the Bundesliga is back with a bang on Friday night with Bayer Leverkusen hosting champions and current league leaders Bayern Munich. Bayer are on the longest unbeaten run in the league having not suffered a defeat in their last 12 outings. But Bayern will be looking to continue the good form shown just before the winter break under interim manager and club legend Jupp Heynckes. This promises to be a cracker.
The encounter sees fourth place take on first and the form book is pretty even, adding to what already looks like a potential thriller. Not only are Bayer enjoying their long unbeaten run, they’ve also fared better against the Bavarian powerhouse than most of the Bundesliga. In fact, they’ve taken at least a point from nine of their last 17 encounters home and away against Munich, winning three and drawing six. That’s not bad going against such a dominant side.
Bayern on the other hand have faced up at Leverkusen in the first match after the winter break on five separate occasions, winning three. They’ll no doubt go into the encounter confident of making that four wins in six and ending that unbeaten run.
William Hill are backing Bayern for the win, with odds of 3-4 on the Bavarians. Heynckes side have been struggling for goals of late, winning their last three Bundesliga matches 1-0; if you think they’ve got the mettle to hold out for a win of the same score on Friday, you can get odds of 10-1 with William Hill.
Whether that’s the case will really depend on both ends of the pitch. Bayern will again be without talismanic keeper Manuel Neuer meaning Sven Ulreich will continue to deputise. The 29-year-old has had an up and down time between the sticks across 12 Bundesliga matches this season, keeping a clean sheet on six separate occasions, but then conceding a total of nine in the other six matches. Whether he can keep out the top German scorer in the Bundesliga remains a doubt. Kevin Volland has more goals than any other German with nine strikes in 16 games to his name. He’s 6/4 to hit the back of Ulreich’s net at any time with William Hill.
At the top of the pitch for Bayern, Robert Lewandowski is expected to start having recovered from a knee problem. The Polish centre forward is the top scorer in the Bundesliga so far this season with 15 strikes and a goal every 92 minutes. However, he only has three goals in 13 Bundesliga encounters against this particular opponent. We’re big fans and backing him to break that run and continue his fine form this season by getting on the score sheet in North Rhine-Westphalia this Friday night. The pressure’s certainly on Lewandowski with the lack of goals from the usual attacking riches around him. Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, and Kingsley Coman have only seven Bundesliga strikes between them. Lewandowski is 11/4 to get the first of the game with William Hill.
Bayern may have a decent historical record when facing Leverkusen after the winter break, but the recent form book in this fixture doesn’t look good. The last time they won here was in March 2013, on their way to their famous treble during the last time Heynckes was manager – his third stint at the club. Since then there’s been three draws and a 2-0 win for Bayer; in fact, this fixture in the last two seasons has finished 0-0. Something that we just can’t see happening this time out.
But will Bayer go for it or try and contain their illustrious hosts? Head Coach Heiko Herrlich has a full-strength squad to choose from with no injury concerns, meaning his chosen tactics are the only thing to hold this team back. For Herrlich it’s usually all about getting at teams and starting on the front foot. If he opts for his favoured formation with wing backs, much can be read into his selection of his right-sided player. The talk is of him potentially opting for Benjamin Henrichs over the more attack minded Kai Havertz and trying to contain Bayern. Going against his natural instincts could be to the detriment of the match for the neutrals and his own team’s chances, especially without Neuer patrolling behind the Bayern back-line. If he goes for attack, there could be goals on the cards for Bayer.
We’re going for an attacking line-up from the hosts and the promise of holding on to their unbeaten run. Lewandowski has too much not to get on the score sheet, so we’re opting for a 2-2 thriller on a Friday night with at least one goal from Volland too. To find out how you can follow our prediction and bet for free on the Bundesliga check out our list of the best free bets from well-known betting sites.
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