Frankfurt travel to Leverkusen for this Sunday afternoon clash at the Bay Arena, three points separate these teams in the current Bundesliga table. Both are currently locked in a five-way battle (Frankfurt, Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim, Leverkusen) for the fourth and final Champions League spot. It’s also being viewed as a clash between two of the Bundesliga’s biggest breakthrough players in Kai Havertz and Luka Jovic, with both having outstanding seasons, they’ll be crucial if their teams are to get a result.
Frankfurt are currently halfway through one of their biggest ties in decades, as they are currently tied at 1-1 with Chelsea in their Europa League Semi Final. Judging by the odds, Frankfurt boss Adi Hutter will be looking to rest key players ahead of their trip to London to face Chelsea on Thrusday night. A top four spot must still be heavily on the mind of Austrian coach, but the allure of a Europa League final and a potential first European trophy for forty years, may force him to put his eggs into that basket.
With the tightness of the current league table, after Wolfsburg brushed aside Nurnberg and rivals Monchengladbach played out a 2-2 draw with fellow top four contenders Hoffenheim. The race for the top four has really tightened up with just three points separating the five teams. With the top three confirmed, the final spot is going to be tightly contested down to the final day.
First up, Bayer Leverkusen will be without key wingers Jamaican Leon Bailey (currently out with a hamstring strain) and German Karim Bellarabi (who is likely to miss the rest of the season), this pushes more of the attacking focus onto German starlet Kai Havertz. The young breakthrough star has been influential for Leverkusen this season, currently sharing the top Leverkusen scorer with Kevin Volland on 14.
Both will need to be in good form, if they are to get a result against Frankfurt come Sunday. One bit of positive news that Peter Bosz has been given comes in the form of Sven Bender returning after time on the sidelines due to an ankle injury.
As I said previously, Frankfurt coach Adi Hutter is expected to mix things up in the starting lineup, to better allow his team to prepare for their Europa League second leg against Chelsea on Thursday. A lot has been made about the Frankfurt players appearing tired during the second half of the first leg clash with Chelsea, I’m thinking this has pushed Adi Hutter to re-think his team selections.
Croatian star Ante Rebic is expected to start the match as he missed the first leg with Chelsea due to suspension, this gives Frankfurt a massive boost. A big negative for Frankfurt lies with missing striker Sebastien Haller, the Frenchman has been involved in more goals than any other Frankfurt player.
With so much at stake for both teams domestic hopes, this match should really live up to the promise. One thing I think is for sure, is that Adi Hutter won’t be resting loads of players, I think a few of the key players may be on the bench, but Frankfurt really can’t afford to let the chasing pack back up.
You can get a Frankfurt Win at a very big (5.00), but you can also get Double Chance (2.30), I just think both are a betting play than Leverkusen Win (1/61). One thing I think we can be sure of is goals and you can get Over 2.5 (1.40), a fairly short price but goals are at the top of the agenda is both teams matches.
From a goalscoring perspective, it’s tough to say what Frankfurt’s starting lineup will be, if the likes of Luka Jovic (3.00) are missing. Ante Rebic returning at (3.75) to score anytime looks like a good price to me and at a shorter (2.00), so does Kevin Volland.
Frankfurt Double Chance @ 2.30
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.40
Ante Rebic – Anytime Goalscorer @ 3.75