Next Sunday, Bayer Leverkusen will entertain an always dangerous Hertha Berlin at BayArena for round 30 of the Bundesliga on what will be a decisive match for the home side , since they have only achieved one win during their past twelve matches.
Bayer Leverkusen started the season with a good pace and put up some consistent performances being of the first teams to manage to rob a point to Bayern Munich. Nevertheless, as the season went by, Bayer started to lose focus and that consistent team from earlier in the season started to disappear as they divided their attentions between Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League.
Last weekend, Bayer sucumbed at the hands of a fragile Hamburger SV side as they lost 2-1 at Imtech Arena. It was the third defeat on just five matches and it marked the end of Sami Hyypia’s reign at Leverkusen. Bayer parted ways with the Finnish manager and appointed his former coaching partner Sascha Lewandowski as the team’s new interim manager.
The Dortmund-born manager will not be to count on Stefan Reinartz, Robbie Kruse, Sidney Sam, and Ömer Toprak, all of them sidelined because of injuries, for next Sunday’s clash.
Bayer Leverkusen’s opponents for next Sunday are also not enjoying a positive moment at Bundesliga currently. Hertha Berlin has only won once on the past eight matches and they suffered four defeats in fifteen days.
After being promoted last season, Hertha started the current campaign in good form and they maintained what one may call a positive streak at least until round 20. From that moment onwards, Hertha have only won one single match and they had an abrupt fall on the league table.
The team’s manager – Jos Luhukay – managed to implement an attractive game style into his side; however, Hertha’s lack of accuracy when it comes to scoring goals, has cost the team several points so far this season.
For next weekend’s clash, the Dutch manager will not be able to count on the German goalie Philip Sprint, the experienced midfielder Peer Kluge and the team’s captain Fabian Lustenberger, all of them sidelined due to injury.
When both teams met last November at the beautiful Olympic Stadium in Berlin, the visitors grabbed an important win thanks to a goal from the German powerful striker Stefan Kiessling. Despite both sides’ recent poor form, Bayer Leverkusen have a slight advantage for next Sunday’s match due to the recent managerial change that often works as a motivational factor.
Bayer Leverkusen (4-4-2) – Leno – Donati – Can – Spahic – Boenisch – Bender – Rolfes – Brandt – Castro – Kiessling – Derdiyok
Hertha Berlin (4-2-3-1) – Kraft – Ndjeng – Langkamp – Brooks – Pekarik – Hosogai – Skjelbred – Ronny – Ben-Hatira – Allagui – Ramos
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 2 Hertha Berlin 1