Augsburg VS Bayer Leverkusen, Augsburg picking up a positive result

Posted Sun, 21 Feb 2021 09:10:22 GMT        

Match Time:2/21/2021 20:30 Sunday  (GMT+8)

German Bundesliga --  Augsburg   VS   Bayer Leverkusen

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Augsburg take on Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Sunday, with the visitors looking to begin a winning run as they attempt to climb back into the Champions League qualification positions.  


The hosts, meanwhile, have slipped down the table in recent weeks after losing six of their last seven league games.  


Match preview 

While Augsburg have endured a difficult time of things recently, it would be fair to say that their fixture list has been very unkind.  


Leverkusen represent Augsburg's fifth opponent in the Bundesliga's top six within their last six matches, with Heiko Herrlich's side winning the only time they faced a side positioned outside the top six in that timeframe when they came up against Union Berlin.  


As you would expect from a defensively disciplined outfit, they have not been embarrassed in any of those matches, either, never losing by more than two goals. 


Augsburg simply came up short in last Friday's 2-1 defeat at RB Leipzig, with Dani Olmo and Christopher Nkunku capping a rampant first half for Julian Nagelsmann's side before they took their foot off the gas and allowed Daniel Caligiuri to force a nervy finish from the penalty spot.  


Herrlich's side may have more joy against a Leverkusen team who have shown serious defensive vulnerabilities in recent weeks, but they will need to keep things tight at the back in the early stages.  


Indeed, Peter Bosz will have been absolutely furious with the manner in which his side dropped points in last weekend's 2-2 draw with struggling Mainz 05.  


Leverkusen were far from at their best throughout the match, but took an early lead when Lucas Alario prodded home for his ninth league goal in nine starts after superb wing play by Moussa Diaby.  


The hosts looked like they had got away with one when substitute Patrik Schick combined superb strength and composure to comfortably hold off the challenge of Stefan Bell, before cheekily placing the ball between the legs of Robin Zentner to double Leverkusen's lead with only six minutes of normal time remaining.  


However, Bo Svensson's side had other ideas, with Moussa Niakhate finding Robert Glatzel to open his account for Mainz in the 89th minute, before Sven Bender's poor clearance was directed straight at Kevin Stoger deep in injury time, with the substitute salvaging a dramatic draw.  


Leverkusen were involved in yet another topsy-turvy encounter against Young Boys in their Europa League last-32 first leg on Thursday night, miraculously overturning a 3-0 deficit at half time before Theoson Siebatcheu's 89th-minute strike sealed an incredible 4-3 win for the Swiss outfit. Bosz's side could well find themselves physically and emotionally spent ahead of their trip to Augsburg.  


Augsburg Bundesliga form: LLWLLL  

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form: LWLLWD 

Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions): LLLWDL  


Team News  

Augsburg will remain without Fredrik Jensen and Iago, while this match is likely to come a little too soon for Alfred Finnbogason as the striker nears a return from his muscle injury.  


Forwards Florian Niederlechner, Ruben Vargas and Marco Richter will all be in contention for a start having only been used from the substitutes' bench in the defeat at Leipzig.  


Leverkusen, meanwhile, lost goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky to a serious ankle injury in the draw against Mainz, meaning Niklas Lomb will continue to deputise in goal.  


Karim Bellarabi, Lars Bender, Mitchell Weiser, Paulinho and Santiago Arias are all unlikely to travel to Augsburg, with Julian Baumgartlinger out for the season with a knee issue.  


Bosz will once again have the dilemma of whether to start Alario or Schick in attack - with both strikers in superb goalscoring form this season, surely trying both in tandem in attack would be a worthwhile experiment.  


Augsburg possible starting lineup: 

Gikiewicz; Gumny, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Pedersen; Strobl, Gruezo; Caligiuri, Benes, Hahn; Niederlechner  


Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup: 

Lomb; Fosu-Mensah, Tah, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven; Wirtz, Aranguiz, Demirbay; Bailey, Schick, Diaby    


Augsburg 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen


Augsburg VS Bayer Leverkusen, Augsburg picking up a positive result