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Monday, May 18, 2020

Germany Bundesliga 1 next 24h : Werder Bremen v Leverkusen 18-05-20

Germany Bundesliga 1 next 24h : Werder Bremen v Leverkusen 18-05-20

 Bremen on the brink

Before the Bundesliga was suspended just over two months ago, Bayer Leverkusen were one of its form teams. In 2020, Peter Bosz's men are W6-D1-L1 in the league and W11-D1-L1 across all competitions.

While Leverkusen were stopped in their tracks by the shutdown, Werder Bremen were slowing to a standstill well before the pandemic took hold. Since mid-November, Florian Kohfeldt's River Islanders have lost 11/14 Bundesliga matches at home and away, making a first relegation since 1980 a distinct possibility. With 10 games to go (they do at least have a game in hand over their rivals) Bremen are eight points short of full safety and four points shy of a place in a relegation play-off.

No Volland, no problem

Leverkusen go into this match without Kevin Volland, who was their top-scorer before tearing ankle ligaments in February. Bayer haven't missed a beat without him: across all competitions, they've struck 16 times in the six matches since he was stretchered off, with young Kai Havertz stepping up in particular. The 20-year-old recently became the youngest player ever to score 30 Bundesliga goals and is one to watch in the Goalscorer markets.

Bremen, meanwhile, have significant injury problems of their own. Goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka might have recovered from some recent adductor issues, but striker Niclas Fullkrug is out for the season, while his 41-year-old partner Claudio Pizarro has been ruled out with a muscle injury, and midfielder Davy Klaassen is suspended. At the back, whoever's playing it's worth noting that Bremen have the Bundesliga's worst defence: 55 goals conceded in 24 games so far (26 in 11 at Weserstadion).