Xabi Alonso has done a remarkable job at Leverkusen, leading the BayArena natives to a 30-match unbeaten run. this season. Bayer Leverkusen sit just two points ahead of Bayern as it looks to be a two-team race to see who will lift the Meisterschale this season. With the biggest game of the Bundesliga season coming up on Saturday, let's have a look at Leverkusen's lineup that will look to dash Bayern's championship hopes.
Alonso has been rotating his goalkeepers and sharing time with both Lukas Hradecky and Matej Kovar getting starts in recent weeks. I do expect Hradecky to get the start against Bayern Munich on Saturday. Edmond Tapsoba is back from the African Cup of Nations and participated in the midweek Pokal clash against Stuttgart. With him back and a game under his belt, I think he starts over Bayern loanee Josip Stanisic. Centrally, Jonathan Tah should get the start with Ecuadorian Piero Hincapie getting the start as the left sided center back.
Jeremie Frimpong will bring his blazing pace in the right wingback role, while Alex Grimaldo will look to continue his fine form on the other flank. Exequiel Palacios remains on the sidelines, so Robert Andrich will have the onus to break up play in midfield. Swiss international Granit Xhaka will start with Andrich in the midfield.
Since arriving from Borussia Monchengladbach, Jonas Hoffman has been in good form for Bayer Leverkusen as one of the narrow front three, adding five goals in 18 appearances this season. If there is one player who rivals Musiala in terms of youth and ability in the Bundesliga, it's Florian Wirtz. He will be a driving force for Leverkusen in the final third. With Victor Boniface out for the next few months, the opportunities will fall to Patrik Schick to finish off the attacking moves in the final third.
Bayer Leverkusen Predicted Starting XI
Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Bayern Munich (Kane; Sane)
There is a reason this game is being built up as the biggest match of the 23/24 Bundesliga season. So much is riding on this game. If Tuchel and Bayern can get it right, they can regain control of the title race. If the Bavarians drop all three points, it will be very hard to picture Leverkusen letting the title race slip away this time. Having said that, I see both sides splitting the points and we are no closer to deciding the Bundesliga title. Leverkusen will play their attractive attacking style, but Bayern will be able to punish them on the break. Leipzig showed the blueprint on how to exploit Leverkusen in transition, and I'm sure (mainly hoping) Tuchel will do similar.