German Bundesliga - Bayer Leverkusen vs. Cologne - Preview & Prediction
Finding themselves just one victory away from being safe from relegation this season, 12th-placed Cologne will pay a visit to 4th-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who still have got some work to do to guarantee themselves a top-four finish. Kick-off - at 14:30 PM ET on Wednesday, June 17.
Bayer Draw With Schalke
Despite going two Bundesliga games without a win (D1 L1), Bayer Leverkusen still managed to take a big step towards finishing 4th in Germany’s top-flight this season after earning a 1-1 draw against Schalke 04 away at Veltins-Arena on Sunday. Entering the Matchday on level points with 4th-placed Borussia Monchengladbach, Die Werkself witnessed the Foals lose 2-1 to league-leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday before Nadiem Amiri’s cross turned into an own goal by the Royal Blues, tying the game at 1-1 nine minutes from time the following evening. Bayer is just a single point ahead of Gladbach for the 4th place in the Bundesliga and qualification for the Champions League next season with three contests remaining for both sides.
German playmaker Kai Havertz leads Die Werkself with 11 Bundesliga strikes. Goalie Lukas Hradecky, meanwhile, sits 5th in the league with 95 saves. He has posted nine clean sheets in 31 contests this season and gives up a goal every 68 minutes on average. Bayer Leverkusen has netted the 5th highest amount of goals per game this year (57) while taking the 4th highest quantity of shots per game (14.7). The team is 2nd in ball possession (59.8%) and 3rd in passing accuracy (84.9%).
Cologne Lose To Union Berlin
An unexpected setback took place for Cologne in their bid to remain in the Bundesliga for another year, as the team from the fourth-most populous city in Germany was edged out with a score of 2-1 by Union Berlin at RheinEnergieStadion on Saturday. The hosts dominated in ball possession (62%) and outshot the Berliners 10-6, but managed to find the back of the net just once, with Jhon Cordoba scoring in injury-time after the Iron Ones already were leading 2-0 following two goals from corners. Cologne is yet to win after the Bundesliga restart (D3 L3) and is 12th in the standings with a W10 D5 L16 record, seven points above the bottom three.
Colombian striker Jhon Cordoba has bagged 13 league tallies this season, leading Cologne in Bundesliga goals. Timo Horn, meanwhile, occupies the 9th place in Germany’s highest division’s goalie chart, having turned away 84 shots in 31 appearances this year. He has registered six clean sheets and allows a goal every 47 minutes of play. Cologne have buried the 7th highest number of goals so far this season (48) while delivering the 11th highest quantity of shots per game (12.9). The team is 12th in ball possession (47.9%) and 13th in passing accuracy (76.7%).
Both teams are presently enjoying the longest scoring runs of all current Bundesliga teams, with Bayer Leverkusen netting in 15 straight league outings, and Cologne banking at least a goal in 17 successive games. Both sides have scored against each other in six of their previous nine head-to-head encounters, so another match without a clean sheet from either team is definitely a pretty decent proposition. As is the possibility of a sending-off in this one! The last seven meetings between the Billy Goats and Die Werkself have witnessed no less than six red cards, with both sides having already combined for 10 dismissals this season. As for the result - pick the hosts to triumph to improve their overall W10 D4 L5 Bundesliga record against Cologne.
Bayer Leverkusen to win (-180)
Bayer Leverkusen to win and both teams to score (+160)
Red Card (+375)