Bayer Leverkusen vs Freiburg: CONFIRMED teams, match statistics and LIVE blog!
Will Freiburg join their hosts in next season’s UEFA Champions League or will Bayer Leverkusen and Patrik Schick end the visitors’ hopes at the BayArena on Saturday (kick-off: 15:30 CEST)?
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With UEFA Champions League qualification in the bag, Leverkusen will be very happy with their work under Gerardo Seoane in the Swiss manager’s first season at the helm. They secured their Champions League spot with a 4-2 win at Hoffenheim last time out, where Moussa Diaby and Schick played the starring roles. The pair have been Leverkusen’s best performers this season and are one of the main reasons the club are where they are heading on the final day. Their form has eased concerns over the team’s injury problems, with Amine Adli and Florian Wirtz among the players who saw their seasons end prematurely. Kerem Demirbay has recently returned to training but is missing today. No matter what happens on Saturday, Die Werkself are guaranteed third place.
The route the visitors’ European adventure will take next season has yet to be determined, with Freiburg heading into Matchday 34 two points behind fourth-placed RB Leipzig. It means defeat for Die Roten Bullen and a win for Freiburg at Leverkusen would see Christian Streich’s men join their last-day hosts in next season’s Champions League. Defeat, however, could see the visitors go from a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage to entering the Europa Conference League qualifying rounds if they link defeat with wins for the Union. Berlin or Cologne, or a combination of both. Had they beaten Union last weekend – and not suffered a 4-1 defeat – things would have been very different for Streich’s men. Nico Schlotterbeck, who will play his last Bundesliga game for the club before joining Borussia Dortmund, is aiming to make sure they do. Freiburg also have a historic DFB Cup final coming up against Leipzig next week.
Watch: All of Schick’s goals in the 2021/22 Bundesliga
- Schick can equal or surpass Leverkusen’s single-season Bundesliga goalscoring record, held by Stefan Kießling (25 in 2012/13).
- Leverkusen have already scored a club record 78 goals in a season in 2021/22.
- Bayer have scored a league-high 14 goals in the first 15 minutes of matches in 2021/22. Freiburg and Bayern Munich are next on the list, with 12 each.
- Vincenzo Grifo is Freiburg’s top scorer with nine goals; Christian Günter their best provider (nine assists).
- Schlotterbeck has managed 36 goal attempts in 2021/22 – more than any other centre-back in the division.
- Whatever happens, Freiburg will set a club record for fewest away defeats in a single Bundesliga season (currently four). Their record in Leverkusen is: P21, W5, D5, L11.
Leverkusen: Lunev – Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven – Baumgartlinger (c), Palacios, Diaby, Paulinho – Alario, Schick
Subtitles: Grill, Hradecky, Lomb, Bakker, Hincapie, Andrich, Aranguiz, Azmoun
Outside: Adli (Achilles), Bellarabi (thigh), Demirbay (foot), Fosu-Mensah (thigh), Frimpong (fitness match), Sertdemir (groin), Wirtz (knee)
Coach: Gerard Seoane
Freiburg: Flekken – Kübler, Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck, Günter (c.) – Eggestein, Höfler – Sallai, Jeong, Grifo – Höler
Subtitles: Uphoff, Sildillia, K. Schlotterbeck, Gulde, Schmid, Wagner, Haberer, Demirovic, Petersen
Outside: Keitel (broken toe), Schade (abs), Weißhaupt (shoulder)
Coach: Christian Strich