BVBs busy month continues as we travel to Leverkusen for a marquee Saturday night match up. Our last match ended 4-0 BVB. For BVB everyone is fit except Marco Reus. For Bayer, Demirbay and Aranguiz are out and Baumgarlinter is questionable.
With the addition of Can and loss of Reus our lineup will see some changes. Can was brought in to play in the backline so I’d expect to see him there alongside Akanji and Hummels. Brandt and Witsel will probably play as a center mid pair but as the game progresses I could see Favre pulling a winger for a CB, moving Brandt up and having Can play alongside Witsel. The front three will feature Sancho and Haaland and either Reyna or Hazard. Reyna featured well in our loss against Werder Bremen. His goal went viral throughout the internet and deservedly so.
Leverkusen and Dortmund have had similar seasons so far. Both came in with high expectations but have blown chances to meet them. Bayer bowed out the Champions League and currently sit in 5th place and sit 5 points behind us and Monchengladbach. They have had some great games against the likes of Bayern and Schalke, but also lost bad games to Hertha, Koln and Hoffenheim. Their manager Peter Bosz still has a lot to prove in the Bundesliga. After his disastrous tenure at BVB he has not proved much with this Leverkusen squad. Of course it doesn’t helped we nicked their best player Julian Brandt over the summer. BVB need to beat this reflection of themselves if they are to prove they will compete in the Ruckrunde.
Leverkusen have plenty of good offensive threats on their team. Kevin Volland (9 goals 7 assists) and Lucas Alario( 8 goals 2 assists) will both be fit for the match. Volland especially is a dangerous center forward. If Akanji makes any flubs in the back line Volland will be there to punish. With 3 of their regular midfielders out Bayer will have to make due with Kai Havertz and Nadiem Amiri as their only first team quality players in the center field. We may see one of the Bender brothers pushed up into a holding midfield spot just to fill the gaps. Also new signing Exequiel Palacios from Riverplate who has only played 1 match so far and may fill in. Hradecky had a awful showing vs us last time around but preformed well against other good teams this season(except Juve). Without 2 of our goal scorers last time in Paco and Reus, we will rely on Haaland and Sancho to get us ahead.
Before the Werder game I would have thought BVB would handle this injured Leverkusen squad. Now I am not sure if we are still the same old languid Hinrunde BVB, or the Haaland powered fun January BVB. What do you think the optimal lineup/game-plan is?