Preview: Bayer Leverkusen v FC Bayern München

Jupp Heynckes Bayern

Bayer 04 Leverkusen will be aiming to maintain their perfect home record in the Bundesliga on Friday when they host runaway leaders FC Bayern München.

12 January 2018
Gameweek 18
Kick-off: 21H30 (GMT+2)
Venue: BayArena

Referee: D. Siebert
Assistants: L. Koslowski, A. Sather
Fourth official: M. Pelgrim

Head-to-head summary

Leverkusen 80 17 16 47
Bayern 80 47 16 17

Previous encounter

Bayern 3-1 Leverkusen 18/08/17 (Bundesliga)

Bayern goalscorers: N. Sule (9′), C. Tolisso (18′), R. Lewandowski (pen 52′)
Leverkusen goalscorers: A. Mehmedi (65′)

Players to watch

Kevin Volland has been leading the goalscoring charts for Leverkusen this season. The 25-year-old German has netted nine goals and produced three assists in his 19 appearances across all competitions.

With Robert Lewandowski sidelined, Bayern may be looking to the likes of Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben to find the back of the net, while back-up striker Kwasi Okyere Wriedt may also be given a rare opportunity to start.

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Team form and manager quotes

Leverkusen are yet to lose a league fixture in front of their home support this term. They have won four and drawn four at the BayArena.

Die Werkself are also unbeaten in their last 12 league encounters, winning six. The impressive run has seen Heiko Herrlich’s side climb from 14th to fourth in the standings. Their last game before the winter break was a 1-0 win against Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal.

However, in their opening Bundesliga clash of 2017, Leverkusen were beaten 3-1 by Bayern, albeit at the Allianz Arena.

When asked about the 3-1 defeat in the reverse fixture, Herrlich told the press: “We weren’t at the races for the first 20, 30 minutes. We showed them too much respect.

“We’re playing against a really strong team. The worst-case scenario is a thrashing, the best outcome is you win.”

Meanwhile, Jupp Heynckes’ men are looking to maintain their stranglehold over the Bundesliga. Die Roten built up an 11-point lead at the top of the table before the winter break and will be eager to increase the gap before the rest of the teams resume their season on Saturday.

Bayern have lost only once in their last 14 top-flight outings, and are on a four-game winning streak. Their most recent clash saw them knock Borussia Dortmund out of the DFB-Pokal in a 2-1 victory at home.

“We just got back from the training camp and are still very tired – on Friday there will be a team with a very different concentration on the pitch,” Heynckes told his pre-match press conference.

When asked about Leverkusen’s record, he added: “They have not won 12 consecutive games for nothing, and FC Bayern have not won in Leverkusen for five years. No, we can not be overconfident!”

Team news

Leverkusen have two doubts ahead of the game with Germany internationals Karim Bellarabi and Benjamin Henrichs struggling with minor injuries.

Bayern are expected to be without experienced pair Mats Hummels and Lewandowski, who are both still recovering from injuries.