RB Leipzig vs Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen’s quest to win their first-ever Bundesliga title faces a stern test as they head to the Red Bull Arena to encounter top-four hopefuls RB Leipzig.

Leipzig strengthened their quest to secure another top-four Bundesliga finish with a four-match unbeaten league run toward the end of the last calendar year (W3, D1). But despite making 26 attempts and generating a stunning 3.07 xG, Marco Rose’s side slumped to a morale-crushing 1-0 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt at the start of 2024, allowing fifth-placed Borussia Dortmund to reduce the gap to three points. Keen to return to winning ways, ‘Die Roten Bullen’ can draw inspiration from winning four home league matches on the trot before going down to Frankfurt. Indeed, that loss marked Leipzig’s first scoring blank in home Bundesliga action since a goalless draw against Bochum in October. However, there’s an alarming trend on the other side of the pitch, with Rose’s team going five consecutive home league games without a clean sheet.

In the meantime, Bayer Leverkusen’s dream start to the 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign took another boost in their curtain-raising 2024 fixture as Exequiel Palacios’ 94th-minute winner inspired them to a 1-0 win at Augsburg. As the only side across UEFA’s 54 top-tier championships yet to lose a match this season, Xabi Alonso’s men commence this round atop the Bundesliga table, four points clear of perennial champions Bayern Munich (W14, D3). On top of that, Leverkusen’s formidable away form has seen them drop points against only Bayern and third-placed Stuttgart (W6, D2). Defensive solidity has been the backbone of their stellar form on the road, as they remain the only Bundesliga team yet to concede double digits on hostile turf (6).

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