Bayer Leverkusen vs. Gladbach preview: Die Werkself return to league action
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
After being knocked out of the Europa League semi-finals in midweek, Bayer Leverkusen will turn their attention back to league matters when they welcome Borussia Mönchengladbach to the BayArena on Sunday.
|Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
Despite dominating the second leg of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Roma, it ultimately proved to be a disappointing evening for Leverkusen. A goalless second leg ensured Roma progressed to the final via a 1-0 aggregate victory, leaving die Werkself to focus on their final two league games against Gladbach and Bochum.
Leverkusen are currently sitting in sixth position, and they have the chance on Sunday to take a significant step to securing European football for next season. A win over Gladbach would move Xabi Alonso’s side three points clear of seventh-placed Wolfsburg, who lost 2-0 to Freiburg on Friday evening.
Die Werkself have struggled for victories in recent weeks, after failing to win any of their last five competitive matches, while they have won just one of their previous five Bundesliga games.
Their recent head-to-head record with Glachbach makes for far better reading, having won each of their last five games against Sunday’s opponents.
The hosts will go into the game without the services of Andrey Lunev, Charles Aranguiz, Odilon Kossounou, Robert Andrich, Karim Bellarabi and Patrik Schick.
Gladbach head into Sunday’s contest off the back of a disappointing 5-2 defeat to title-chasing Dortmund. Trailing by four goals at half time, Gladbach managed to halve the deficit thanks to a Ramy Bensebaïni penalty and a Lars Stindl strike, but there was still time for Gio Reyna to add a fifth for Dortmund in stoppage time.
The heavy defeat extended Gladbach’s winless away run to seven games. Having picked up just eight points on the road this season, die Fohlen also hold the third-worst away record in the top flight.
Having won just one of their 16 away league games this term, 11th-placed Gladbach will be desperate to claim all three points in their final away match of the 2022-23 season. They are also aiming to record their first victory over Leverkusen since picking up a 2-1 win in November 2019.
Daniel Farke has confirmed that Jonas Omlin remains sidelined, but Marcus Thuram is closing in on a return to action and could feature on Sunday.
Semir Telalovic and Yvandro Borges Sanches will boss miss out through injury, while Bensebaïni will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.