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By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Freiburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen preview: Will there be a Europa League hangover for Die Werkself?

After being forced to go through extra-time and penalties before they prevailed in their Europa League tie against Monaco on Thursday, Bayer Leverkusen will hope they can recover in time for Sunday's Bundesliga meeting with Freiburg.


Since losing 5-1 to Borussia Dortmund at the beginning of the month, Freiburg have embarked on a three-game winning run across all competitions. In their most recent outing, goals from Michael Gregoritsch and Lucas Höler helped Christian Streich's side claim a 2-0 victory over Bochum.

Following Saturday's results, Freiburg dropped out of the top four, but with two points separating them from the Champions League places, they can move back into fourth spot with a win on Sunday.

Having won six and drawn two of their last eight home league games, Freiburg will head into Sunday's meeting in a confident mood. They also share the best defensive home record with Bayern Munich and Union Berlin after conceding only eight goals in their 10 Bundesliga matches at the Europa-Park Stadion.
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After starting 134 consecutive top-flight games for Freiburg, Christian Günter's run in the side will come to an end on Sunday. The Freiburg captain will serve a one-match suspension after receiving his fifth yellow card of the Bundesliga season last weekend. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, meanwhile, remains a long-term injury absentee.

Bayer Leverkusen

Leverkusen may be weary, but they will be in positive spirits after prevailing on penalties against Monaco in their Europa League playoff tie. After losing the first leg 3-2, Leverkusen knew that they would have to turn around a narrow deficit. Florian Wirtz opened the scoring before Wissam Ben Yedder dispatched his spot-kick for the Ligue 1 side.

Although goals from Exequil Palacios and Amine Adli gave Leverkusen the aggregate lead, an 84th-minute Breel Embolo strike sent the tie to extra time. With neither side able to find a winner, penalties were required. Impressively, Leverkusen scored every spot-kick, ensuring Eliot Matazo's missed penalty proved costly for the hosts.

Hungarian champions Ferencváros await in the last-16, but Leverkusen will now turn their attention back to league matters. Having lost three of their last four Bundesliga matches, Die Werkself reside in the bottom half of the table in 11th place, however, a win over Freiburg would move them up into ninth position.

Leverkusen will be encouraged by the fact that they have won three of their previous four away matches in the league, including a 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim in their most recent Bundesliga away trip.
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Piero Hincapié, Jonathan Tah and Amine Adli are all suspended for the visitors. Meanwhile, Andrey Lunev and Charles Aranguiz are still sidelined with back and calf problems respectively.

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