- Football - Germany - Bundesliga
Leverkusen will host Schalke 04 at BayArena in one of the derbies of this round, and I cannot resist betting on guests.
Leverkusen started new season with 1-4 away win over newcomers Frankfurt, which was deserved win, but with a bit flattering final score. After that we saw nothing from them! First they were humiliated by Bayern at home and then lost 1-2 in Wolfsburg in a game where they looked totally anemic and without will to fight.
Now, this out of form Leverkusen will additionally have to cope with the absence of several very important players – Roque Junior and Marko Babic are suspended, while Krzynowek, Freier and Madouni are injured, as well as Nowotny who is out for a longer period. This means that coach Augenthaler will have to re-shape his team, installing Rolfes and Barnetta in defense and moving Athirson in midfield, as well as Fritz. So only striking duo Berbatov – Voronin will remain unchanged. All these changes will be too much for hosts and I really cannot see who will create the game in midfield. Athirson was awful in defense so far and I doubt he will improve now. Absence of Krzynowek is huge blow in my opinion and I doubt that Leverkusen will be too dangerous for solid Schalke’s defense led by Bordon and Krstajic. Then, in defense we will see new 4-man line which will hardly work perfectly all of the sudden.
As for Schalke, they won first 2 games and then drew 1-1 at home to Gladbach. Their coach Rangnick will have all players at his disposal, meaning that we will again see very important Brazilian Lincoln in offensive midfield, just behind strikers Kuranyi and Sand. With talented Bajramovic alongside him, I expect Leverkusen’s defense to have huge problems to stop Schalke.
Leverkusen lost 4 of last 5 home games in Bundesliga against this arch-rival and I believe this trend will continue on Saturday, as Schalke looks much better at this moment.
|13/09/2005 12:03, read 607 times