Bayer Leverkusen vs. Stuttgart:
Can Die Werkself claim a third straight victory?
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Bayer Leverkusen will look to continue their impressive form when they face a Stuttgart side who are winless in 16 away league games.
|Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
Bayer Leverkusen looked to have turned a corner under Xabi Alonso after losing only one of their last six games in all competitions. They also have the chance to claim a third consecutive victory this weekend.
After thrashing Union Berlin 5-0, Leverkusen recorded a second straight win when they faced Köln in midweek. Alonso's side came from a goal down to clinch a 2-1 victory thanks to second half goals from Nadiem Amiri and Moussa Diaby.
Leverkusen are currently sat in 13th place, and they are beginning to move away from danger with four points separating them from the bottom three.
The hosts are in impressive form at the BayArena after avoiding defeat in their last four home games, scoring 13 goals in that period. They have also won seven of their last eight home meetings against Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.
Sardar Azmoun, Patrik Schick and Florian Wirtz are expected to miss out for the hosts, while Robert Andrich is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Stuttgart will have the chance to claim consecutive victories after beating Hertha BSC last weekend.
The game looked to be heading towards a draw after Sehrou Guirassy's opener was cancelled out by Dodi Lukébakio. There was to be late drama though, as Konstantinos Mavropanos scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time to secure a 2-1 victory.
The visitors are currently in 15th place with three points separating them from the bottom three, and they will be looking to extend that gap on Saturday.
Stuttgart have fared well under interim boss Michael Wimmer, who has guided his side to four successive home victories in all competitions.
Despite being in impressive form on home turf, Stuttgart will finish the calendar year without an away win in the Bundesliga if they cannot beat Leverkusen. They will also be looking to avoid a fourth consecutive away defeat.
Wataru Endo is ruled out due to concussion, while Chris Führich is a doubt for Saturday's contest. Meanwhile, Mavropanos will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.
More about the match
15:30 Kickoffs: Leverkusen conclude 2022 with three straight victories, Leipzig and Wolfsburg extend unbeaten runs