Bayer Leverkusen vs Hamburg

November 8, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Third-placed Bayer Leverkusen aim to make amends for the shock defeat to Eintracht Braunschweig and revive their title bid with yet another impressive result at their Bay Arena. Meanwhile, Hamburg go into the game on the back of home defeat to Borussia M’Gladbach, but it is important to note HSV have won their last two fixtures on the road.

Impressing on all fronts

While it is difficult to look past free-spending Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund when it comes to the Bundesliga title chase, there has been one club that have been seriously closing the gap behind the two giants, despite operating on a tight budget. I am obviously talking about Bayer Leverkusen, who are enjoying another very successful season. Die Werkself have proved their worth by climbing to second place in what is a very strong Champions League group, with Sami Hyypia’s side on the brink of qualification following the goalless draw with Shakhtar Donetsk. Meanwhile, the team have also impressed at the start of their Bundesliga campaign, and it is perfectly clear last week’s defeat to Braunschweig was a mere one-off result, especially since most key players were rested in that match. Meanwhile, Bayer have been absolutely amazing at home this term, winning seven of eight fixtures and only sharing spoils with leaders Bayern Munich, so we cannot really expect poor Hamburg to fare any better. However, it is important to note that die Werkself have conceded in six of those eight games.

Lars Bender misses out through suspension, whilst Andres Palop, Stefan Reinartz and Konstantinos Stafylidis remain in the infirmary.

Premium entertainment guaranteed

After Hamburg ended the previous league campaign just three points behind the European positions, the team were expected to show some improvement this term, but things haven’t exactly gone according to plan. The disappointing start to the season ended up costing Bruno Labbadia his job, and the arrival of Bert van Marwijk seems to have brought some improvement. The Red Shorts in turn embarked on a five-match unbeaten run, scoring and conceding goals for fun in the process, but last week’s home defeat to Borussia M’Gladbach was enough to suggest inconsistency remains the major issue. While scoring 23 goals in opening 11 rounds, Hamburg have also conceded no less than 24, and it is more than clear that neither of the two coaches was able to find a real balance in the side. This means that HSV remain in a good position to surprise quite a few bottom-table sides on the road, but they cannot really be trusted to match such a well balanced side that is Bayer Leverkusen. Team’s good scoring run looks likely to continue, but that is unlikely to prove enough for anything more than a honourable defeat.

Artoms Rudnevs, Slobodan Rajkovic, Dennis Diekmeier, Johan Djourou, Tomas Rincon and Kerem Demirbay are all unavailable.


Bayer have long ago become a genuine force to be reckoned with at their Bay Arena, and there’s no way struggling Hamburg will be able to match the in-form hosts. The likes of Van der Vaart and Lasogga are likely to prove a handful for the home defenders, but all eleven players will have to give their maximum if HSV are going to avoid defeat in Leverkusen.

Top pick: Home win   1.57 (4/7) @ Unibet

Alternative pick 1: Leverkusen/Leverkusen   2.40 (7/5) @ 888sport

Alternative pick 2: Home win + both teams to score   2.90 (19/10) @ Ladbrokes

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