Bundesliga champions Bayern battle European hopefuls Bayer
After securing the Bundesliga title with four games to spare, Bayern Munich suffered a DFB-Pokal Cup semi-final defeat to bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund, with focus soon turning towards a Champions League quest after an upcoming league clash with Bayer Leverkusen.
The hosts will be confident of capitalising on Munich’s current situation, with Pep Guardiola certain to be concentrating his efforts on winning his maiden European Cup with the dominant German champions, having missed out on the chance of a triumphant treble term.
Bayer are a 5/4 chance with Coral to earn three points on home soil, with Guardiola’s table-toppers having been overcome on penalties by Dortmund last time out and a Champions League semi-final encounter with Barcelona fast approaching. Although, even if Guardiola is to field a weakened team only days before the meeting with his former club, Bayern have managed to clinch an impressive six consecutive league victories on their travels and will be confident.
Guardiola’s gallant German champions are an 11/2 chance to win and both teams to score on the road, though the home side will provide a tough test, having gone nine matches unbeaten at the BayArena in all competitions.
The visitors emerged with three points in the reverse fixture at the Allianz Arena thanks to a second-half strike form Frank Ribery, but Bayern will be without their injured winger in this outing, along with deadly Dutchman Arjen Robben, who tore a calf muscle just 16 minutes into his recent return from injury.
Leverkusen’s towering targetman Stefan Kiessling netted after 90 minutes against Munich last season and is available at 5/1 to score last again in his latest outing, with the German frontman a potentially potent forward threat.
World Cup-winning Germany international attacker Thomas Muller has struck 13 times in the Bundesliga this current campaign and has been a key component in his side’s title triumph. The prolific poacher is a 7/4 chance to score again anytime against Bayer.
The hosts are hoping to reclaim third position in the Bundesliga, having recently surrendered it to Borussia Monchengladbach, and a win over the champions would go a long way in their attempts to secure an automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League.