The top two in the Bundesliga meet on Saturday night in a match with a huge bearing on who will go on to be crowned 2023/24 champions.
Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen are in the box seat but hold a slender two-point edge over Bayern Munich, whose quest for a 12th straight league title is under considerable threat.
The game will be played at BayArena with a kick-off time of 17:30 GMT on Saturday 10th February 2024.
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The stakes could not be any higher at the BayArena on Saturday but don’t expect either Bayer or Bayern to retreat into their shells because of the magnitude of the occasion.
The Bundesliga’s top two are also the division’s top scorers and the positive approach which has seen them disappear from view will be on display.
What Bayer have, however, is also a fabulous defensive record which, coupled with irresistible home form and an unmatched confidence, means they should be trusted to at least avoid defeat and stay at the head of affairs going into the final third of the campaign.
Make the first leg of your Bet Builder the Bayer - Draw Double Chance at something which, given they are unbeaten, has obliged every time they have set foot on the pitch for a Bundesliga game this term.
Alonso has drawn one and won the other of his two matches against Bayern and his team are in sparkling form.
They have played 29 league and cup matches this season, winning 25 of them, drawing the other four.
Even in the absence of injured top scorer Victor Boniface, goals have been coming from all areas. But it’s the back five, protected so well by Granit Xhaka, that looks exceptional and should be trusted to restrict Harry Kane and co’s chances.
With seven goals and nine assists to his name this season it’s clear that Alex Grimaldo down the left flank is a major threat for Leverkusen.
The wing-back, one of the bargains of 2023 arriving in Leverkusen on a free from Benfica, looks born to play on the left side of Alonso’s preferred 3-4-3.
Defensively adept, it is his attacking instincts that have improved so much under his compatriot Alonso, the 28-year-old enjoying his best-ever scoring season.
Bayern Munich are averaging 7.7 corners per game this season and exactly seven per game away.
Thomas Tuchel’s men are set up to get forward, create chances and win corners which clearly is something they do frequently.
Obviously Bayer’s defence is the best in Germany and won’t easily be over-run but expect Bayern, who are in real need of the win, to accumulate at least six.
Ezequiel Palacios is fit after a long lay-off, though Alonso may not want to break up the Xhaka-Andrich midfield axis.
Victor Boniface is still sidelined which means a straight choice between Patrik Schick and new signing Borja Iglesias to lead the line.
Dayot Upamecano and Joshua Kimmich have returned to training and centre-back Kim Min-jae has returned from the Asian Cup.
But Alphonso Davies is the latest crock, joining Konrad Laimer, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry on the sidelines, while keeper Manuel Neuer is struggling with a knee issue.
Bayer Leverkusen boast the best defence in the Bundesliga - 14 goals conceded, 10 clean sheets - but are up against the best attack in the German top-flight, with Bayern scoring 59 goals so far this term.
Leverkusen have won 13 and drawn the other two of the 15 matches they have played in all competitions at the BayArena.
Top scorer Harry Kane has scored in 15 of the 20 matches he has started for Bayern in the league this season.
Both teams have scored in 13 of the last 15 fixtures between these two sides.
|Bayer Leverkusen wins
|Bayern Munich wins
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.