Bayer Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg: probable teams, match stats and LIVE blog!


Can Xabi Alonso revive Bayer Leverkusen’s season as they host Wolfsburg on Saturday (kick-off: 3.30pm CEST)?


Click here for the Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg LIVE blog!

AlonsoBayArena’s reign is only three games old, but his tenure has already seen an average of five goals per game. It didn’t necessarily work in Leverkusenfavor. Die Werkself got off to a flying start under the former Bayern Munich midfielder, fighter Schalke 4-0 at homebut they have since lost 3-0 to Porto and 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt – a result that left them third from bottom. Alonso has now had a game-free week to work with his new side as Bayer took a brief preview for Tuesday and Wednesday DFB Cup schedule. Florian Wirtz announced this week that he was close to a return from a cruciate ligament injury, but the teenager will not be back yet. Callum Hudson-Odoi resumed training after missing Frankfurt match and could come back to the side. Piero Hincapie is suspended after scoring and then sending off on the final day. That should mean Odilon Kossounou goes into defense if Alonso stays with a back three.

Opposite number Niko Kovac is another former Bundesliga champion, and the holder Wolfsburg the boss is also one of eight people to lift the Meisterschale as a player and coach. His start to life with Wolves was difficult, but they are now unbeaten in four, including Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Eintracht Braunschweig in the second round of the DFB Cup. Yannick Gerhardt has become Wolfsburg’s hero of late with goals in each of the last three Bundesliga games. They have accounted for five of the club’s 10 points this season. Patrick Wimer is hurt again, so Lucas Nmecha should be joined by Omar Marmouche and Jakub Kaminski in the last third.

Look: Analysis of Alonso’s first Bundesliga game as manager

Match statistics

  • Patrick Schick scored twice after 10 matches. He had scored eight goals at the same time last season.
  • Leverkusen have made their worst start after 10 appearances in 40 years.
  • The last 12 Bundesliga meetings between Leverkusen and Wolfsburg have ended in draws (three) or away wins (nine). It is the third longest head-to-head match without a home win in Bundesliga history.
  • Kovac has lost in his four trips to Leverkusen as a coach. He started his Bundesliga playing career at the club, making 77 appearances between 1996 and 1999.
  • Gerhardt scored in three successive games – an incredible run for a player who had never scored more than twice in a single Bundesliga season before.
  • Wolfsburg are unbeaten in six games at Leverkusen, winning the last four.

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Probable teams

Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) – Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba – Frimpong, Andrich, Demirbay, Bakker – Diaby, Schick, Hudson-Odoi
Out: Azmoun (muscular), Bellarabi (fitness), Hincapie (suspended), Palacios (hamstrings), Wirtz (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Xabi Alonso

Wolfsburg: Casteels – Baku, Lacroix, Van de Ven, Otavio – Svanberg, Arnold (c), Gerhardt – Marmoush, L. Nmecha, Kaminski
Out: Franjic (calf), Kruse (not taken into account), Roussillon (Achilles), Wimmer (ankle)
Coach: Niko Kovac

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