Germany: Bundesliga
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Augsburg
Leverkusen
E. Palacios (90)
By Jonathan Dicks@Jonathan_Dicks

Augsburg vs. Leverkusen preview: Bayer look to stay undefeated

World-class Leverkusen travel to Augsburg on Matchday 17 hoping to continue their marvelous run of form without some key players.

Augsburg


Augsburg experienced the new-trainer bounce under Jess Thorup, but only claimed victory in one of their final four games to close out 2023. Still, they sit in 11th place and at the moment, feel fairly removed from the relegation conversation.

Leverkusen are a brutal opponent to start the year off against and Augsburg also face Bayern and Leipzig shortly after this weekend. Saturday will be a celebration for the Bavarian club, who will honor Julian Baumgartlinger to cap off his footballing career.

In his presser, Thorup stated, "A demanding opening program awaits us, but we like challenges. We want to be the first team to beat Leverkusen - even if they have a lot of quality.”
Team News

Mads Pedersen is suspended, while Iago will be on a minutes restriction. Reece Oxford and Raphael Framberger are unlikely to feature.

Leverkusen


Leverkusen still haven't lost a game this season, but they will have to implement some major rotations to the starting lineup at the beginning of 2024. Amine Adli, Edmond Tapsoba and Odilon Kossounou are away at the AFCON, meaning Josip Stanisic and Piero Hincapie should move into the back line.

Victor Boniface is out for the foreseeable future, which will give way to a run in the first eleven for Patrik Schick. It’s time for Leverkusen to reignite their push for a Bundesliga title and it all starts up once again on Saturday against Augsburg.

Xabi Alonso commented, "We are happy to be together again and to have the Bundesliga back tomorrow. We’re in a new year and have a new target ahead of us. The first opponent is Augsburg, a good opponent. We have prepared well and are ready for the game."
Team News

Arthur is out and Boniface is now unavailable until April after undergoing leg surgery earlier this week in Berlin. Adli, Tapsoba and Kossounou are all playing in the AFCON. There’s a slight chance that Jonathan Tah, who’s on four yellow cards, could be rested to save him for Leipzig next week.

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