Leverkusen are going neck and neck with Gladbach for the Top 4 spot and with Gladbach picking up a dominant win over Wolfsburg yesterday the pressure is now back on Leverkusen.

As for FC Köln, they have a mathematical chance to get related but their essentially safe so I don’t see them playing ultra-defensive and compact here.

Leverkusen

Leverkusen were slightly stunned by Schalke last weekend, despite the Royal Blues being severely depleted they played with heart and spirit and deserved their 1-1.

Leverkusen created the lion's share of chances but Schalke's compactness meant almost all were low % chances

Leverkusen had a Cup game mid-week before that Schalke game which could have also played a part.

  • Leverkusen have won 7 of their 10 matches against teams in the bottom half opponents. They average 2.00 per 90 and 0.4 conceded
  • Since the Rückrunde Bayer are W7 D0 L2 with 2.55 goals scored per game in all competitions. The only losses have come in their last two matches which both came against Top 6 opposition (Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich)
  • For the most part, Leverkusen have been quite reliable at home against the bottom 6 this season. They beat Paderborn 3-2, Union 2-0, drew 2-2 with Werder (xG 2.95-0.5) beat Dusseldorf 4-0, beat Augsburg 2-0
  • I’m expecting to see a stronger XI than in the Schalke game too, Volland should start ahead of the suspended Alario while Sinkgraven should replace Wendell at LWB

FC Köln

  • Köln have lost 4 of their 6 road games against Top 6 level opponents this season with 2.83 goals conceded per 90
  • Since the restart Koln have failed to win a single game and failed to keep a single clean sheet.
  • In fact their xGA average since the restart is 1.6. This doesn’t seem that bad at first glance but they’ve only played one Top 6 side since returning (4-2 loss to RB Leipzig)
  • Koln’s last 4 outings with Top 5 opponents has seen them lose every game while allowing on average 4.75 goals and 2.68xG
Leverkusen -1 Asian Handicap at 1.84 with Bet365 - 2 units