The next slate of Bundesliga games kicks off Friday afternoon as Freiburg will host an ornery group from Bayer Leverkusen. Since the return of top-flight soccer action, our picks have been doing very well at The Sports Geek, though the mid-week clashes seemed to throw things off a bit. Goals weren’t common in the Dortmund/Munich showdown, and this same Leverkusen side let us down last Tuesday against Wolfsburg. It’ll be paramount to see this talented group rebound on Friday vs. Freiburg.
It is also worth pointing out that as things do start re-opening, the soccer leagues in Europe seem to all be quickest in getting back up and running. June will be a great month with La Liga returning first, followed by the English Premier League, and Serie A. As much as possible, we’ll focus on the marquee matchups in each of those respective top-flight leagues.
But for now, we’ll return to the Bundesliga and put a stellar 9-3 record on the line for Friday’s standalone contest. Leverkusen looked dreadful mid-week hosting Wolfsburg, and will now need to shake it off to take on 8th-place Freiburg. Both groups are really batting for European qualification spots next season, so there’s lots at stake. For Leverkusen, they’re seeking a top-4 finish and a Champions League berth, while Freiburg are looking to sneak into the Europa League. With these extra incentives on the line, it should make for a fascinating clash to begin Matchday 29. Keep reading on beneath the odds for a full breakdown, tactical preview, and betting analysis. Enjoy Freiburg vs. Leverkusen, folks!
Freiburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen Betting Odds:
SC Freiburg (+370)
Bayer Leverkusen (-134)
Over 3 (-113)
Under 3 (-107)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Freiburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen Pick:
Following Leverkusen’s dismal showing on Tuesday afternoon against Freiburg, you have to believe manager Peter Bosz is putting a real emphasis on his side securing maximum points on Friday. Freiburg haven’t really played up to their eighth-place spot since the league resumed two weeks ago. They’ve secured just two points from three matches, and will be in tough against a hungry Leverkusen side battling for the Champions League.
For Freiburg, it seems as if there are no new injury concerns for manager Christian Streich’s side – though it has been reported that there could be a change in tactics. Look for Freiburg to line-up in their familiar 3-4-3 formation, with just three defenders on the back. It is a risky play and one that could open this game up to make it more attacking. Freiburg needs the points for their own European hopes, and see this as their best chance at giving Leverkusen a run.
For the visitors, they will likely be without their lead striker up top in Kevin Volland. While Volland is back in training, it would be a surprise to see him back already. Next week remains a more likely target. They too will line-up in a 3-4-3 formation, though Leverkusen’s back-three can handle that pressure as they’re among the top defensive clubs in all of the Bundesliga. Star defender Edmund Tapsoba remains in elite form, and has emerged as one of the Bundesliga’s top young defenders. They don’t concede many chances and have been doing well with their expected goals against of late.
Where this match will be won will be Leverkusen’s elite top three attacking trio, going against the defenders from Freiburg. Expect Kai Havertz to once again lead the line for Leverkusen, and he’ll be flanked with a ton of speed and creativity via Leon Bailey and Paulinho – both who should be returning to the side. That’s a lethal front free and one that has the ability to stretch Freiburg wide, and swing in crosses for the dangerous Havertz to finish.
There’s a big talent disparity between the two groups, and although Leverkusen are just three spots up on Freiburg, Leverkusen are the vastly superior side, one that consistently generates more in terms of expected goals and chances. They’ll dictate the play from kickoff, and the reintroductions of the pacy Paulinho and Bailey should help Leverkusen on the break. Expect both teams to score, but ultimately one in which Leverkusen seizes all three points in.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 3-1