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Nov 28, 2021 at 4.30pm UK
RB LeipzigRB Leipzig
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
Silva (62')
Forsberg (38')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Wirtz (21'), Diaby (34'), Frimpong (64')
Andrich (14'), Hradecky (82'), Frimpong (90+3')

Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Bayer Leverkusen - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Bayer Leverkusen - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Bundesliga clash between RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

The final match of the Bundesliga weekend is also the highlight encounter of matchday 13, with European hopefuls RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen facing off at the Red Bull Arena.

The hosts continue to struggle to maintain a consistent run of form domestically, whilst their visitors have bounced back in recent weeks in response to a slump in form.

Match preview

Leipzig head into Sunday's encounter hoping to replicate the kind of form that saw them thrash Club Brugge 5-0 in the Champions League in midweek.

In terms of progression, the result meant very little considering Die Roten Bullen were already aware of their exit at the group stage prior to their trip to Belgium, but the manner of the victory, as well as the performance, could be important in their bid to find some consistency following a disappointing start to the campaign under manager Jesse Marsch.

Christopher Nkunku scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season in the hammering, but the Frenchman has been just one of the few bright sparks since Marsch's arrival in the summer.

The comprehensive display, which saw Leipzig race into a 4-0 lead by half time, was the perfect response to their disappointing 2-0 defeat at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga last weekend, which was a defeat that leaves the Red Bull outfit in seventh ahead of the weekend's round of fixtures.

However, whilst the loss extended Leipzig's winless run away from home to six domestically, at home Marsch's side hold a near 100% record, bar a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of champions Bayern Munich.

Whilst there is an obvious desperate need to address the struggles on their travels, Marsch and his players will be keen to extend that strong record on Sunday in their bid to break back into the top four and challenge for a Champions League spot again.

As for the visitors, their three wins and one draw from their last four outings in all competitions has halted the drop in results and performances in recent weeks.

Prior to that, Gerardo Seoane's side had dropped off at an alarming rate following their excellent opening to the 2021-22 campaign and the Swiss boss's tenure, which saw Die Werkself fall to three defeats and two draws across a five-game spell.

Last weekend's narrow 1-0 victory over relegation candidates VfL Bochum was far from a perfect display, but recording three points for the first time in five Bundesliga outings ensured Leverkusen hung onto fourth place for the time being.

Amine Adli provided the only goal of the game in the third minute, but captain Lukas Hradecky produced a fine display in between the posts to keep their visitors at bay and prevent more points being dropped against opposition they were expected to beat comfortably.

In addition to the confidence boost of returning to winning ways in the league, Thursday evening's late fightback in the Europa League against Celtic will provide a further increase in morale ahead of the difficult trip to the Red Bull Arena on Sunday.

Robert Andrich's second of the game levelled the score at 2-2 inside the final 10 minutes at the BayArena, before Moussa Diaby netted the winner just five minutes later to confirm his side's progression to the knockout stages.

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Leipzig will welcome back midfielder Tyler Adams to their squad on Sunday, after the American was forced to sit out their midweek win in Belgium through suspension.

Dominik Szoboszlai and Amadou Haidara are also fit again to provide a welcome boost to Marsch's options, although first-choice goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi will miss out again due to COVID-19.

An outbreak of the virus will also see Marsch absent from the sidelines, and Willi Orban, Hugo Novoa, Mohamed Simakan and Yussuf Poulsen miss out too.

Marcelo Saracchi remains absent due to a long-term knee injury, whilst fellow defender Marcel Halstenberg nears his return from a similar problem, but also remains unavailable along with Dani Olmo.

As for the visitors, they also remain without long-term absentees themselves, with Julian Baumgartlinger and Timothy Fosu-Mensah remaining out for the time being.

Mitchel Bakker is the only other player missing through injury though, with a quartet of first-team players returning for Seoane on Sunday.

Charles Aranguiz, Lucas Alario, Karim Bellarabi and Patrik Schick are all expected to return and feature, with the latter being sorely missed after scoring eight league goals in the opening nine Bundesliga games.

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Mukiele, Klostermann, Gvardiol; Henrichs, Adams, Kampl, Angelino; Nkunku, Forsberg; Silva

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Frimpong, Tah, Tapsoba, Hincapie; Andrich, Demirbay; Adli, Wirtz, Diaby; Schick

We say: RB Leipzig 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Although the hosts are missing a few first-team players, as well as their manager, through COVID-19, we can see them continuing their fine home form by recording a win in this intriguing clash on Sunday.

There has not been more than two goals scored in any of the last four meetings between the sides, but we are predicting an entertaining encounter containing a few goals at the Red Bull Arena.

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