Home Foreign Bundesliga: Bayern Munich face stern test against Bayer Leverkusen

Bundesliga: Bayern Munich face stern test against Bayer Leverkusen

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Frankfurt’s forward Goncalo Paciencia (right) celebrates with Mijat Gacinovic after scoring in the 5-1 thrashing of FC Bayern Munich on November 2, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany. PHOTO: AFP

Freiburg beat 10-man Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0
Bayern Munich gear up for a tough away game against Bayer Leverkusen. There are only five gameweeks left in the Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich still has some tricky fixtures ahead of them as they are three wins away from an eighth consecutive league title. In matchday 30, they travel away to Leverkusen to face a resurgent Bayer Leverkusen side.
After clinching two victories against Borussia Dortmund and Fortuna Dusseldorf, Die Roten had a week to prepare for the game against Leverkusen. Flick’s team has got better with every passing game, getting their rhythm back after a two-month long break.
In the reverse fixture between these two sides, Bayer Leverkusen stunned Rekordmeister at Allianz Arena. The victory margin for Leverkusen was narrow, but it came as a shock as Flick’s men were on a good run before that defeat. A similar intensity should be expected on Saturday as both teams are peaking at the right time.
Peter Bosz’s men have also enjoyed a good run of form since football resumed. Apart from a blip against Wolfsburg, they have won all other games. Leverkusen come into this game on the back of a 1-0 win against Freiburg last weekend. They need to win as many games as possible to qualify for Champions League next season.
Meanwhile, the opening fixture of matchday 30 in the Bundesliga saw Borussia Mönchengladbach fall to a 1-0 defeat in Freiburg. Nils Petersen scored the game’s only goal, while the Foals finished the match with ten men following Alassane Plea’s red card.
Borussia were well on top in the first half in what was their final trip to the Schwarzwald-Stadion, with Freiburg due to move homes at the end of the season.
The Foals’ record of only having won once there in the Bundesliga was hanging over them though as good openings failed to produce goals. Alassane Plea and then Lars Stindl were kept out in quick succession by Alexander Schwolow in the Freiburg goal, before the offside flag denied Florian Neuhaus the opener in the 26th minute.
He came close again ten minutes later, trying to lift Lars Stindl’s cushion header over the onrushing goalkeeper, but got too much on his shot and it flew wide. SCF’s only notable moment came right at the end of the half and was saved easily enough by Yann Sommer.
The second half didn’t have as much tempo as the first, with incisiveness lacking in the final third from Borussia. The game then took a fatal turn in the 58th minute when Nils Petersen headed Freiburg into an unexpected lead fresh off the bench. Before Gladbach could shake off the setback, Plea was shown a yellow card for a foul on Robin Koch – his second after being booked for dissent in the first half.
Reduced to ten men for the final 20 minutes, Marco Rose’s side struggled to break down the stubborn Freiburg defence, ultimately failing to create another dangerous moment, even with the introduction of Raffael, László Bénes and Ibrahima Traoré in the closing stages. The defeat means Borussia now need their rivals for the top four to drop points over the weekend, with the Foals also up against league leaders FC Bayern a week on Saturday (18:30 CEST).
Marco Rose opted to go with the same side that helped record a 4-1 win over Union Berlin last week. The full starting XI was as follows: Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Neuhaus, Hofmann; Herrmann, Stindl, Thuram; Plea.
Four players missed the trip to Freiburg through injury: Tobias Strobl (hamstring), Breel Embolo (calf), Denis Zakaria (knee) and Fabian Johnson (training deficit).

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