Bayer Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayer Leverkusen are in the midst of a rather down-beat end to the Bundesliga season but you wouldn’t know that based on what January signing Sardar Azmoun was suggesting at a press conference this week. When asked about the club’s ability to cling on to a top-four finish before the end of the season, the Iranian striker went one step further and then some. “I hope we qualify this season and then win the title – that’s our dream,” noted the new signing. “That’s what the club is working for.”
Indeed, Azmoun’s excitement is perhaps a better indication of where Leverkusen are at the moment. Yes, Gerardo Seoane’s side had to give up on a speculative title race and the Europa League in no small part due to injuries, but the BayArena team have managed to pull themselves together since then and remain a very good side.
That has been made evident in recent victories over Greuther Furth, Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg, while a 1-0 defeat to RB Leipzig earlier in the month masks just how close Leverksuen came to taking points off Germany’s most in-form side.
When Seoane’s welcome a tired and distracted Eintracht Frankfurt with European glory in their eyes to the BayArena on Monday night, they will be comfortable favourites for the tie and should fancy their chances to make short work of a team that gave up on their league form some time ago.
Borussia Monchengladbach v RB Leipzig
The perceived wisdom ahead of this game seems to be that RB Leipzig will take their foot off the accelerator when they make the trip to Monchengladbach, with the second leg of their Europa League semi-final with Rangers just a few days later. But that would be a little too convenient for the hosts.
In truth, Domenico Tedesco’s side haven’t known how to slow down since he took over the club at the end of last year and that’s mostly down to the fact that they have the squad depth to rotate in Bundesliga stars like Yussuf Poulsen and Emil Forsberg at a moment’s notice. As well as the return of the previously injured Kevin Kampl.
Leipzig will also be acutely aware of the fact that a win at Borussia Park could cement their fourth-place finish, if results go their way this weekend. And when coupled with the fact that Gladbachs’ home form has been far from impressive, with just six wins from 15 games this season, this certainly feels like a match that ought to see the Saxony giants put on another professional display.
In what should be a tight match, expect Leipzig to pull away from a Gladbach side that have reached the safety of mid-table and have very little left to play for this season.
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