Leverkusen vs Borussia M’Gladbach

August 23, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Bayer Leverkusen are one of just three teams that are still keeping up with title contenders Bayern and Dortmund, and they have got an excellent chance to put extra pressure on their more illustrious rivals. Borussia M’Gladbach recovered well from the opening defeat at Alianz Arena to record a 3-0 victory over Hannover, but they clearly face a difficult task at Bay Arena.

Another impressive start

Heavy investments in the playing squad of clubs like Bayern and Dortmund have denied Bayer Leverkusen a chance to fight for the Bundesliga title, but the Bay Arena outfit have been pretty outstanding in recent years considering the circumstances. While finishing above the Bavarians in 2010/2011, die Werkself eased off to a third-place finish last term and they are again showing a great deal of promise. While staying without Andre Schurrle, Michal Kadlec and Daniel Carvajal, the club have done really well in the summer transfer window, having signed the likes of Palop, Spahic, Kruse, Son, Donati, Hilbert and Can, with boss Sami Hyypia quickly rebuilding the squad. Given that Bundesliga top scorer Stefan Kiessling remained, just like other key players, nobody was surprised to see Bayer kick off the season with a 6-1 DFB Pokal victory over Lippstadt, before recording back to back triumphs over Freiburg and Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. With the player brimming with confidence following such a good start to the campaign, it will be up to Borussia M’Gladbach to try and prevent red-hot Bayer from extending their winning run to four games.

Lars Bender is set to start after recovering from a calf injury, while back-up players Niklas Lomb and Dominik Kohr remain sidelined.

Travel sickness

After Lucien Favre led Borussia from the brink of relegation to fourth-place finish and Champions League qualification, die Fohlen have experienced some problems on all fronts. The team could only achieve an eighth-place finish in the league last term, while the club officials in turn failed to build a respectable squad. Over the last year or so, die Fohlen have stayed without Dante, Neustadter, Reus, De Camargo and Hanke, while forward Max Kruse was the only high-profile arrival this summer. As a result, Borussia had a pretty disappointing start to the season, losing the DFB Pokal tie to third division side Darmstadt before they were beaten 3-1 at Alianz Arena. Die Fohlen showed a massive improvement to record a 3-0 victory over out-of-sorts Hannover, but their dismal performances on the travels could deny them the chance to bring something from Bay Arena. With the team having lost six of last eight Bundesliga games on the road and not really playing to their potential at the moment, they don’t look they will be able to match in-form Bayer Leverkusen away from home.

Captain Filip Daems should start despite battling an Achilles injury, meaning Lucien Favre could have fully fit squad to choose from.


Bayer Leverkusen have already hit the ground running and they will fancy their chances of recording fourth straight victory this term. Meanwhile, Borussia seem to be getting weaker every year, while their poor away form cannot give them reason for optimism ahead of the trip to Bay Arena.

Top pick: Home win   1.70 (7/10) @ Unibet

Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score   1.70 (7/10) @ Ladbrokes

Alternative pick 2: Home win + over 2.5 goals   2.40 (7/5) @ Ladbrokes

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