Venue: Weserstadion, Bremen
Date: Monday, May 18, 2020
Werder Bremen were not having a good season prior to the Coronavirus pandemic that put the Bundesliga on hold. Bremen have seen the rest of the bottom five fail to pick up a win in Round 26, however, so a result here would be huge in kickstarting their season and allowing them to move on to bigger things.
Werder Bremen will have to break their form to pick up a victory as they have not won a match since the middle of January. Bayer Leverkusen, on the other hand, had been on a hot streak before the season was suspended. They have won seven of their last nine matches and they will be looking to kick on here with a win to continue their chase for a European spot next term.
The task of beating high flying Leverkusen will not be helped by the hosts missing a number of important players for this match. The Coronavirus didn’t wipe out suspensions, so their Dutch international midfielder Dacy Klaasen will have to wait another week to make his return after being banned. Bremen will also be missing Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro as the 41-year-old veteran is still out dealing with a thigh injury.
Bremen has just 18 points on the season and sit in 17th place in the table. They don’t score enough goals (the worst in the league) and haven’t found a way to cover that by being solid at the back. Werder Bremen really needs a win here to have any chance of chasing down Fortuna Dusseldorf who sits in 16th spot.
Bayer Leverkusen will be at relatively full strength for their visit to an empty Weserstadion. The only player they will be missing is a big one, however, with Kevin Volland expected to take no part due to an ankle knock. He is Leverkusen’s top scorer this term with nine goals and his predatory instincts around the box and ability to unlock a defense with his finishing prowess will certainly be missed here.
A win will pull Leverkusen ever closer to a Champions League spot for next term – they would be just one point off of this position – with Red Bull Leipzig only managing a draw with Freiburg over the weekend.
The two teams drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture back in October so there is a shred of light here for the hosts looking at recent history. It is hard to know how teams will react to playing in an empty stadium, though it makes sense that it will affect Werder more as the game should be being played in front of their screaming fans. Werder just don’t score enough goals – they have managed just 27 in 24 games – and the Leverkusen defense is one of the tighter units in the entire Bundesliga. Take Bayer to win at 0.75 or look for them to keep a clean sheet as a prop bet at 1.86 as we just don’t see Werder being able to find the net without top scorer Klaasen in the side.