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Bundesliga: Depleted Bayer Face Hard-Charging Red Bulls

RB Leipzig vs Bayer Leverkusen

The Red Bulls take a quick breather from their Champions League stint as they host Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday in the Bundesliga.

After winning against Tottenham last week, RB Leipzig thrashed Schalke with a 5-0 tally to further boost their Bundesliga 2020 vantage of winning their maiden title.

As of this writing, Bayern Munich still lead the pack with 49 points but the likes of RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund are still within reach with 48 and 45 respectively. Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, have 43 apiece.

Bayer Leverkusen have done well in taking care of business feasting against lowly opponents. Other than their wins against Mainz, Paderborn, Fortuna, and Union Berlin, Die Werkself notched a huge victory against Borussia Dortmund to keep themselves in the hunt.

Every game matters now especially since we are reaching the latter stages of the 2019/20 season, so tune in here at SBOTOP to get your daily dose of your Bundesliga action.

 

Talking Points

RB Leipzig’s strength in numbers

While Timo Werner has been at the forefront in majority of our Bundesliga 2020 news due to his superb scoring and playmaking, let’s not forget to give credit to his contributing teammates as well.

The 23-year-old wunderkind already tallied a league-leading total of 25 goals along with eight assists while he’s been supported by the likes of Marcel Sabitzer, Emil Forsberg, Patrik Schick, and Christopher Nkunku who have provided 24 goals and 12 assists.

In a recent interview with the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi heaped praise to his teammates who have been holding it together as they try to dethrone Bayern Munich to win it all for the first time.

“Our strength in depth sets us apart from the rest of the Bundesliga. Even the guys who have not played as often come onto the pitch with the right mentality,” said Gulacsi.

“You do everything for this team. This is a strength that we want to maintain until the end of the season. That can still make us very, very successful,” he added.

Furthermore, their defence has been a key reason to their strong run as well. The Red Bulls have yet to concede a goal for their last four games and they lead the league on that regard with only 25 so far this term.

“The defensive stability is the key (for us) to being successful. We’ve shown this at Tottenham, also at Bayern, and again at Schalke,” noted Gulacsi.

Led by the effervescent Julian Nagelsmann, the Red Bulls are as dangerous as they come. And I won’t be surprised if they can overcome the tough stretch that they’re currently in and pass with flying colours.

 

Bayer missing their key piece

Bayer Leverkusen will be coming in as the underdogs in this one when they learned that Kevin Volland will be out for the rest of the season.

The 27-year-old striker suffered a torn ankle ligament in their Europa League match against Porto and he went under the knife right away in order to fast track his recovery.

This is a big blow for Peter Bosz’s side that isn’t exactly known for their depth. Besides Volland, who is their top scorer with 10 goals along with seven assists this term, there haven’t been much reliable sources for their attack.

Die Werkself will now have to draw out more production from their other players in Kai Havertz, Lucas Alario, Moussa Diaby, and Leon Bailey in order to stay afloat for the remainder of the Bundesliga season.

Bayer Leverkusen's Lucas Alario is the Bundesliga club’s only out and out striker
Bayer Leverkusen’s Lucas Alario reacts to scoring a goal before it is disallowed by VAR

It is also up for team boss Peter Bosz to find a suitable scheme for the team moving forward. They have been doing well in their 3-4-3 formation that has given them three wins with Lucas Alario at the front.

The Argentinean forward is the second leading scorer for Bayer Leverkusen with seven goals along with an assist.

On the other hand, Moussa Diaby has been a pleasant surprise for Peter Bosz. The 20-year-old French international emerged as a viable attacking option for Bayer and he is primed to be a key cog for the squad for years to come.

Their backline needs some work too as they’ve conceded an average of 2.0 goals per game in their last three Bundesliga fixtures. They will need to do much better than that especially against RB Leipzig.

 

History

RB Leipzig have lost just one of their seven encounters against Bayer Leverkusen. They have also won six of their last seven Bundesliga home games too.

The Red Bulls’ defence is a huge problem if you’re Die Werkself, as they have yet to concede a single goal in their last four matches.

Interestingly, RB Leipzig are undefeated in 11 Bundesliga games scheduled on a Sunday since losing to Borussia Dortmund last term.

 

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