Greuther Fürth vs Bayer Leverkusen preview: Will Fürth be relegated this weekend?
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Greuther Fürth could be relegated on Saturday, and if they are to stand any chance of warding off relegation for another week then they must beat Champions League chasing Bayer Leverkusen.
Fürth enter Saturday's contest knowing that a win is required to keep their hopes of survival alive, although even then, three points may not be enough to avoid the drop.
Unfortunately for the hosts, only the most wondrous of miracles would prevent them from being relegated this season. The Kleeblätter sit rock bottom of the Bundesliga table, with 11 points separating them from Stuttgart, who occupy the relegation playoff spot.
Stefan Leitl's side have struggled at both ends of the pitch, with Saturday's hosts shipping more goals than any other Bundesliga side, while only Arminia Bielefeld have scored fewer league goals this season.
Their away form has also been troublesome, as they look set to complete the season without an away win. In fact, Fürth have managed to pick up just three away points this term, and their struggles away from home has been a major contributing factor to their impending relegation.
Jamie Leweling and Max Christiansen have been ruled out for the hosts after testing positive for COVID-19. With Leweling unavailable, Leitl has effectively confirmed that Jessic Ngankam will start Saturday's contest.
The Kleeblätter seem to be short on numbers with Marco Meyerhöfer, Paul Seguin, Havard Nielsen, and Amifico Pululu all sidelined. Maximilian Bauer will also be absent as he serves a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards. In more positive news, Jeremy Dudziak is expected to feature after recovering from injury.
Leverkusen have much loftier ambitions, but their quest for a top-four finish was dealt a blow last weekend, when they lost 1-0 to fellow Champions League side RB Leipzig.
That result saw Die Roten Bullen move above Leverkusen into third place, with Die Werkself only a point clear of Freiburg, who sit in fifth position.
Although there is no shame in losing to Leipzig, perhaps what is most surprising is that the Bundesliga's third-highest scorers failed to score for the second game in a row.
Gerardo Seaone knows that his side cannot afford to drop points on Saturday, as they look to ward off Freiburg. They will certainly be confident of claiming victory over Fürth after beating the Kleeblätter 7-1 in the reverse fixture.
Their away form this season offers cause for optimism, as Die Werkself currently hold the third-best away record in the league, although they have underperformed in recent away trips, with their last four away league games yielding one victory.
Amine Adli, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Jeremie Frimpong and Florian Wirtz are all expected to miss the rest of the season, while Robert Andrich and Piero Hincapié are suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards.