Bayer Leverkusen vs Union Berlin: CONFIRMED teams, match stats and LIVE blog!
Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen will take on top-flight Union Berlin who are desperate for points, while Sheraldo Becker and Co. will have other ideas at the BayArena on Sunday (kick-off: 15:30 CET).
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Die Werkself enjoyed a boost during the week with their scoreless UEFA Champions League draw with Club Brugge winners Alonsothe men of a place for the UEFA Europa League play-offs. Sunday hosts welcome pre-Matchday 13 leaders nonetheless union having failed to win any of their previous six games, Bayer last triumph to come against Schalke early October, when Alonso first took the reins. team star Florian Wirtz is back in training following a torn cruciate ligament, but the 19-year-old is believed to be a long way from a return to first-team action. Kerem Demirbay shook off a leg problem to return as a midweek substitute and has done so from the start today as Karim Bellarabi is on the bench. Charles Aranguiz and attacking Patrick Schick both came out.
What Leverkusen would do for a dose of Union’s superb form this season. Urs Fischer’s Men Recovered the best corner in the Bundesliga of Bayern Munich after last weekend’s drama victory in added time against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Danilho Doekhithe 97th minute goal was brought back Die Eisernen a top-flight eighth win and the eyes of the world will be on the BayArena this weekend to see if the capital club can sustain the most unlikely title push in European football. Andras Schaefer received a blow on Thursday, while the goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow also had a calf problem as the Berliners beat Union Saint-Gilloise to join Leverkusen in the Europa League play-off round. Neither is expected to return until New Years. Becker and Jordan are both scoreless in the last five Bundesliga matches but lead the line for the visitors today.
Look: Union Berlin still has the wind in its sails
- Schick has scored just twice in 11 Bundesliga appearances so far this season. He had eight at the same time in 2021/22.
- Bayer have had their worst start to the Bundesliga season. Sixteenth is their lowest result since their promotion in 1979.
- In more encouraging news, Leverkusen have lost just one of six Bundesliga meetings with Union (W2, D3) – despite winning just one in three at home.
- Becker has scored six goals and assisted three in the first seven Bundesliga games of the season, but hasn’t done either in five.
- Union has topped the leaderboard for seven days. The last unnamed Bayern side to lead the way for so long was Gladbach (matchday nine, 2019/20). They finished the season in fourth position.
- In addition to having the best defense (nine goals conceded), Die Eisernen are also the most successful team of the season (73.4 miles / 118.2 kilometers covered per game).
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Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) – Kossounou, Tapsoba, Hincapie – Frimpong, Amiri, Andrich, Demirbay, Bakker – Diaby, Hlozek
Subtitles: Lunev, Tah, Fosu-Mensah, Sertdemir, Palacios, Azhil, Adli, Hudson-Odoi, Bellarabi
Out: Aranguiz (calf), Azmoun (muscular), Schick (adductors), Wirtz (fitness)
Coach: Xabi Alonso
Union: Grill – Baumgartl, Knoche, Leite – Trimmel (c), Thorsby, Khedira, Haberer, Ryerson – Becker, Jordan
Subtitles: Busk, Gießelmann, Jaeckel, Seguin, Haraguchi, Pantovic, Skarke, Michel, Behrens
Out: Möhwald (fitness), Rönnow (muscular), Schäfer (foot)
Coach: Urs Fischer
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