After winning their last four Bundesliga matches, Bayer Leverkusen will be looking to continue their impressive run of form when they play host to Bochum on Wednesday.
|Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
Leverkusen continued their progress under Xabi Alonso with a 3-2 away victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend. Mitchel Bakker and Amine Adli gave Die Werkself a two-goal lead at half time, before Nadiem Amiri added a third in the 67th minute. Gladbach attempted to mount a late fightback, with Lars Stindl scoring a brace, but Leverkusen held firm to claim a fourth consecutive league victory.
Not so long ago, Leverkusen were bracing themselves for a relegation battle, but they have now risen to ninth spot and will be targeting the European places. However, there is still work to do for Alonso's side, who are eight points adrift of the top six following Wolfsburg's victory over Hertha on Tuesday.
Impressively, Leverkusen are unbeaten in their last five home league games, winning three and drawing two of those matches. In that period, Leverkusen have scored 14 goals and kept three clean sheets, and they will be looking for another strong home performance on Wednesday.
Charles Aranguiz and Patrik Schick are unavailable for the hosts due to calf and groin injuries respectively.
After winning their final two Bundesliga matches of 2022, Bochum picked up where they left off, claiming a 3-1 victory over Hertha BSC at the weekend. Hertha thought they had taken the lead early on, but Lucas Tousart's strike was chalked off after VAR ruled that the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.
Bochum never looked back following the disallowed goal, with Philipp Hofmann scoring either side of Keven Schlotterbeck's first Bundesliga goal to help their side establish a three-goal lead. Suat Serdar's late consolation did little to dampen the Bochum spirits, as they celebrated a third straight league win.
As a result of the victory, Die Unabsteigbaren moved out of the automatic relegation places and the bottom three altogether. With Bochum looking to move away from the drop zone, they will be targeting another victory on Wednesday, but their away record suggests that may prove to be a difficult task.
Only Schalke have picked up fewer away points than Bochum, who have lost seven of their eight away games. However, their only win on their travels this season did take place against Augsburg in their most recent away match, suggesting that they may have turned a corner.
The visitors are unable to call upon the services of Cristian Gamboa and Paul Grave due to injury issues, while Dominique Heintz is a doubt.