Three straight victories saw Bayer Leverkusen climb to second place in the Bundesliga standings, meaning in-form hosts will fancy their chances against 13th-placed Nurnberg. Die Legende improved their survival chances by beating Hoffenheim in midweek, but stopping very good Bayer Leverkusen might prove to be a difficult task.
Bayer Leverkusen on fire
Following several very successful seasons, Bayer Leverkusen finished the league campaign last term in fifth place, prompting club chiefs to replace Robin Dutt with virtually unknown Sascha Lewandowski. With the squad undergoing only minor changes, die Werkself experienced some problems in the opening exchanges, but once they hit the ground running, nobody could stop them. As a result, Bayer have won 11 of last 15 games in all competitions, with some excellent showings in Bundesliga seeing them effectively join the title race. Having beaten Schalke, Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen in their last three league games, die Werkself can be trusted to see off struggling Nurnberg as well. The 5-2-0 home record is another reason why Bayer Leverkusen players can feel optimistic ahead of the clash with Nurnberg.
Michal Kadlec, Daniel Schwaab, Sidney Sam and Karim Bellarabi all miss out through injury.
Difficult season for Nurnberg
Having already been relegated from Bundesliga in seven different occasions, Nurnberg obviously hope to escape another unsuccessful league campaign. The team did well to finish the season in 10th place last term, but things are not exactly going according to plan this term. Weekend’s victory over Hoffenheim helped die Legende to remain above the bottom three, especially as it was achieved after credible draws against Bayern Munich and Greuther Furth, but that doesn’t mean Nurnberg will not face a tough task at Bay Arena. Goalless draw in Furth was their first positive result on the travels after four straight defeats, and such a record cannot give boss Dieter Hecking reason for optimism. All things considered, die Legende will find it hard to match in-form Bayer Leverkusen at their Bay Arena.
Markus Feulner misses out through suspension, while Alexander Stephan, Adam Hlousek and Markus Mendler remain sidelined.
Bayer Leverkusen appear to be on top of their game at the moment, and having done so well of late, they can be trusted to record their fourth victory on the bounce. Nurnberg, on the other hand, are largely struggling on the travels and their chances of getting something from this match are very slim.
Top pick: Bayer with -1 Asian handicap 1.88 (8/9) @ bet365
Alternative pick 1: Home win 1.53 (8/15) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Bayer with -1 European handicap 2.30 (13/10) @ Paddy Power