14:30 (BST); Sunday 15th October; BayArena (Leverkusen, Germany) BT Sport 2
Bayer Leverkusen have been impressive at home as they look to make it three consecutive wins at home when Wolfsburg come to town. Under Martin Schmidt, Wolfsburg have been playing a workman type mentality which has seen Die Wölfe secure two draws from their last two games. When the two sides met last season, an entertaining 3-3 resulted with Mario Gomez scoring a hat-trick for Wolfsburg. Without Gomez, can Wolfsburg find the goals to win or will Leverkusen maintain their strong home record?
Last time out
Schalke 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen made the journey to Gelsenkirchen in search of their first road win of the season when they took on Schalke. It would be Schalke who started the better and on 34 minutes they would take the lead. A sumptuous free-kick from Leon Goretzka beating the wall and with Bernd Leno choosing to remain stationary the ball would go into the back of the net.
Heiko Herrlich’s side would come out better after conceding and implementing Leon Bailey worked wonders for Leverkusen. The Jamaican winger torched Schalke and he would bring Leverkusen level on the hour mark. His shot was deflected by Matija Nastasić which left Ralf Fährmann stranded, its Bailey’s first goal of the season. Leverkusen ended the game strong but could find a winner as the points were shared.
Wolfsburg 1-1 Mainz
Wolfsburg welcomed Mainz to the Volkswagen Arena in Week 7 with both sides in desperate need of victory. Neither side could make an impact in the first half, but the second half saw a more energized performance from both sides.
Wolfsburg would take the initiative and open the scoring when Josuha Guilavogui headed home Daniel Didavi’s corner. But Mainz would bring back the scores with 15 minutes remaining when Levin Oztunali teed up Yoshinori Muto to give the visitors a share of the points.
Bayer Leverkusen Lineup
After a road point against Schalke last time out, Heiko Herrlich will look for his side to continue their good form at home. Leon Bailey has been in sensational form and I believe will finally come into the starting lineup with Karim Bellarabi dropping to the bench. Dominik Kohr is set to return into midfield with Charles Aránguiz coming in.
With a draw in their previous clash against Mainz, Martin Schmidt will look for more as he searches for his first win with Wolfsburg. Gian-Luca Itter has shown promise since being introduced at left back and once again he will start ahead of Yannick Gerhardt. Maximilian Arnold and Mario Gomez are still out with injury. An unchanged side is expected from Wolfsburg.
Key Battle: Lars Bender vs Josuha Guilavogui
Lars Bender will play a key role for Leverkusen against Wolfsburg as they search for their third consecutive home win. The 28-year-old has made just the three appearances for Leverkusen this season with the results split. Bender has produced two assists in his three appearances and it’s the intangibles that Leverkusen’s captain provides which makes a difference to Heiko Herrlich’s side.
Josuha Guilavogui has been an excellent player for Wolfsburg and have enjoyed his services when he left Atlético Madrid. The 27-year-old French midfielder has brought stability into Wolfsburg’s midfield especially when it was needed. Guilavogui isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty winning 82% of aerial duels and 67% of take-ons this season.
Alario – Volland combo
Bayer Leverkusen have two intriguing options going forward and for the club to progress up the table, they need Lucas Alario and Kevin Volland to continue to fire. Alario will make just his third Bundesliga appearance after making his debut in a 3-0 home win against Hamburg. A game in which the Argentine scored whilst Kevin Volland has four goals this season but they have all come at home. Volland has a brace in Leverkusen’s last two games, can they repeat the scoring fire power at home?
Divock Origi has been the go to guy for Wolfsburg with the injury to Mario Gomez, they need the Belgium striker to fire if they are to make any progress this coming season. Wolfsburg brought in Origi on loan from Liverpool to improve their depth going forward but the 22-year-old is yet to adjust to life in the Bundesliga. From five appearances, Origi has a single goal to his name.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Wolfsburg
As was mentioned when the two sides met at the BayArena last time out it was a six-goal thriller with Leverkusen scoring late in the piece to rescue a point. Bayer Leverkusen are strong at home and they are a dangerous threat going forward. Wolfsburg will be on their heels for the majority of the clash and I believe they will struggle to contain Leverkusen going forward as the hosts continue their march up the standings.
Can Bayer Leverkusen secure their third win of the season or will Wolfsburg win their first game under Martin Schmidt? Let us know in the comments section below
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?