Germany: Bundesliga
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T. Kleindienst (86)
J. Frimpong (45), A. Adli (81)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Heidenheim vs. Bayer Leverkusen preview: Leaders aiming to equal unbeaten record

Bayer Leverkusen will have the chance to extend their undefeated streak to 32 matches in all competitions when they face Heidenheim in Saturday's Bundesliga fixture.

If they are able to avoid defeat, Leverkusen will equal Bayern Munich's record for the longest unbeaten run by a German club.


Heidenheim are surpassing all expectations in their first-ever Bundesliga campaign. Having won seven, drawn six and lost eight of their 21 matches, Frank Schmidt’s side head into the weekend in ninth position in the league table.

They will also go into Sunday’s contest off the back of a narrow 2-1 victory over Werder Bremen. Lennard Maloney and Jan-Niklas Beste both found the net in the opening 18 minutes, before Romano Schmid pulled a goal back for Bremen. Heidenheim ultimately stood firm to claim all three points and end a run of four consecutive draws.

Heidenheim have now managed to avoid defeat in each of their last eight top-flight matches (W4, D4), but they will be well aware that their impressive run of form will be put under threat by title-chasing Leverkusen. However, the hosts may be able to draw inspiration from the fact they won 2-1 in their previous home meeting with Leverkusen in a DFB-Pokal clash in February 2019.
Team News

The hosts are without the services of Marnon Busch, Thomas Keller and Elidon Qenaj, while Denis Thomalla is a doubt due to illness.

Bayer Leverkusen

Leverkusen have had a week to reflect upon their impressive display in last Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with Bayern. Josip Stanišić scored against his parent club to give Xabi Alonso’s side a slender lead at the break, before Álex Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong grabbed a goal apiece in the second period to round off a memorable 3-0 victory, which moved die Werkself five points clear at the top of the table.

Impressively, Leverkusen have now recorded six clean sheets in their last seven league games, including shutouts in each of their previous three Bundesliga outings. As a result, Leverkusen currently boast the best defensive record in the division after conceding just 14 goals in 21 league matches.

The league leaders will certainly fancy their chances of claiming all three points this weekend after cruising to a 4-1 win over Heidenheim in September’s reverse fixture. Leverkusen’s chances of victory will grow significantly if they can register the first goal, having won all 16 league games where they have opened the scoring this season.
Team News

Alonso has confirmed that Granit Xhaka has recovered from a muscle issue in time for Saturday’s contest. However, the Leverkusen boss is unable to call upon the services of Exequiel Palacios, Victor Boniface and Arthur.

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