THE BUNDESLIGA continues on Saturday and Tom Love (@TomLove_18) is on-hand to preview the match-up between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich.
Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich | Saturday 6th June 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
Arguably the game of the weekend kicks off at 2;30pm on Saturday between Champions League chasing Bayer Leverkusen and prospective champions Bayern Munich. It’s fair to say that both sides have had an excellent second half of the season. Leverkusen have won 11 of their last 14 Bundesliga games whereas Bayern have picked up 43 points from a possible 45 since mid-December.
Under former Ajax manager Peter Bosz, Leverkusen have approached games with a focus on dominating the ball rather than a counter attacking approach, they’re very much the instigators of play in that regard.
I think playing that way can put their opponents at a psychological disadvantage, mentally it can be tough to concentrate for a full 90 minutes against a side that keep the ball. That’s unlikely to be the case here though as the only team that boasts a larger possession percentage is their opponents, Bayern.
Leverkusen look to be in a straight shootout with Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig for the top 4 with only two of them able to make it. With Gladbcah still to face Bayern I’d imagine Die Werkself being happy for a point on Saturday.
Incredibly, they actually won the reverse fixture at the Allianz despite being outshot 23-11 and having ten men for the last 15 minutes. Lukas Hradecky had an inspired performance in goal and may have to again if he’s to keep out the red hot Bavarians.
Enormous credit has to go to Hansi Flick for his impact since taking charge of FC Hollywood. He’s brought back the ruthless and clinical attacking on the ball as well as the relentless pressing off the ball which makes it so difficult for teams to deal with.
Because they press high up the pitch and tend to win the ball back when they lose it, their defence is rarely troubled and Manuel Neuer is a spectator. Leverkusen may provide a few more problems with the attacking array of talent, mind.
The betting angles
The bookmakers are expecting an enthralling, goal-filled game here with the goal line set high at 3.5 and favouring the overs still. I’m of the thinking Under 3.5 Goals at odds-against looks a fantastic price. True, if you take the averages of both teams it’s understandable, but if you look deeper into Bayern’s games against the top 6 they’re much more reserved than the times they pummel the lesser lights 5-0 every other week.
They’ve played a total of seven games against the fellow top six and only one of those saw four or more goals which was a 4-0 win at home to Dortmund earlier in the season. Four of those six also saw Under 2.5 Goals land so we could see fewer goals than expected.
Leverkusen themselves were pretty disappointing last week in their narrow win at Freiburg where they only attempted a feeble seven shots in that game. With the stakes being big for both sides I’m more than happy to take odds-against on fewer than four goals at the BayArena.
I’ll also dip into the player props market as there’s someone who looks overpriced in the tackles market and the player in question is Bayern right back Benjamin Pavard. SkyBet go 11/8 that the French international makes two or more tackles in the game and looking at his stats of late that looks a good price.
It’s a bet that’s landed in three of his last four games as well as 9 of his last 15 so I’d have imagined an odds-on offering here. What’s more he’s likely to be up against Moussa Diaby or Leon Bailey both of whom love to dribble and are known for their ball-carrying abilities. We’ve seen how strong Alphonso Davies has been on the left for Bayern so the hosts could target the other side.
Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich – Under 3.5 Goals (21/20 VBet)
Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich – Benjamin Pavard 2+ tackles (11/8 SkyBet)