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Union Berlin vs. Bayer Leverkusen Prediction & Betting Tips

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      Overview

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          Union Berlin vs. Bayer Leverkusen Prediction & Betting Tips

          The upcoming Bundesliga clash between Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen this Saturday paints a picture of two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum in Germany's top-flight football. Union Berlin, a club experiencing a notable dip from their previous season's high, face off against a Bayer Leverkusen side that are arguably performing as one of Europe's most impressive teams this season. The contrast between the two sides' current fortunes, tactics, and aspirations provides a compelling narrative for this encounter.

          Date: 06/04/2024

          Kick-off time: 14:30

          Location: Stadion An der Alten Försterei

          Union Berlin, currently positioned 12th in the Bundesliga with 29 points from 27 games, are experiencing a steep decline following their excellent campaign last season, where they secured a place in the Champions League group stage with a fourth-place finish. This dramatic shift in performance has left many questioning the reasons behind Union's fall from grace.

          The team's defence has been notably porous, conceding 42 goals in 27 games. However, it's their attacking shortcomings that have been particularly glaring; scoring just 25 goals in their 27 league matches, Union possess the third-lowest goal tally in the entire league. This stark decline in goal-scoring prowess contrasts sharply with their previous season's performance, indicating a severe lack of confidence or a tactical mismatch in their approach to games.

          Nenad Bjelica, who took over the managerial reins from Urs Fischer in mid-November, faces a daunting task. The sacking of Fischer, who had led the team to their historic Champions League qualification, was a move that hinted at internal concerns over the team's direction. Under Bjelica's guidance, Union Berlin have yet to rediscover the form that made them one of the Bundesliga's surprise packages last season. As the current campaign winds down, it's clear that Union are heading towards a mid-table finish at best, marking a season to forget for the club and its supporters. The impending off-season presents a significant challenge for Bjelica and the club's management, as they ponder a substantial rebuild to recapture last season's heights.

          In stark contrast, Bayer Leverkusen, under the stewardship of Xabi Alonso, have emerged as a powerhouse in the Bundesliga and beyond. Currently leading the table with 73 points from 27 games, Leverkusen's performance this season is nothing short of spectacular. The team's dominance is underscored by their unbeaten run in all competitions, with Alonso's side remarkably having not lost a single game this season, coupled with their progression to the quarterfinals of the Europa League and the semifinals of the DFB-Pokal.

          Alonso's Leverkusen play an exhilarating brand of football characterised by bravery, creativity, and attacking flair. This approach has not only endeared them to neutrals but has also been incredibly effective, as evidenced by their commanding 13-point lead over Bayern Munich. With just seven games remaining, Leverkusen are on the cusp of ending Bayern's eleven-year stranglehold on the Bundesliga title, needing just three more victories to be crowned champions, a feat that would secure the club's first-ever Bundesliga title.

          The Leverkusen squad boasts a wealth of talent, with 20-year-old attacking midfielder Florian Wirtz at the forefront. Wirtz's performances have attracted attention from top clubs across Europe, highlighting his immense potential and importance to Leverkusen's success. Additionally, the contributions of full-backs Álex Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong have been integral to the team's attacking dynamics, providing width, creativity and goal threats down the flanks.

          Recent head-to-head meetings between Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen further emphasise the latter's dominance, with Leverkusen winning two of the last three encounters, including a comprehensive 4-0 victory back in November. This track record adds an extra layer of intrigue to the upcoming match, as Union Berlin look to salvage pride while Leverkusen aim to edge closer to the title.

          Saturday's game is more than just a clash between two Bundesliga sides; it's a reflection of two contrasting narratives. On one side, Union Berlin, grappling with a season of underachievement, seek to prove that they can still compete with the league's best. On the other, Bayer Leverkusen, riding the wave of an exceptional campaign, look to cement their status as the new powerhouse of German football.

          The tactical battle will be fascinating to observe. Union Berlin, with their back against the wall, may opt for a more conservative approach, hoping to exploit Leverkusen's attacking intent through counter-attacks. Leverkusen, under Alonso's guidance, will likely stick to their aggressive, possession-based style, looking to break down Union's defence with their dynamic forward play.

          For Union Berlin, this match represents an opportunity to lay down a marker for next season, to show that they can bounce back from adversity. For Bayer Leverkusen, it's another step towards a historic first Bundesliga title, a testament to their remarkable transformation under Alonso.

          Bayer Leverkusen To Score 2+ Goals

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          Bayer Leverkusen To Score 2+ Goals @ 8/13
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          Bayer Leverkusen To Win To Nil

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          Bayer Leverkusen To Win To Nil @ 13/8
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          Half-Time/Full-Time

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          Bayer Leverkusen/Bayer Leverkusen @ 11/8
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          Team News

          Union Berlin Team News:

          Andreas Schafer is once again unavailable through suspension and will miss out here, with the injury to Janik Haberer meaning Union are light in midfield coming into this one.

          Kevin Volland could replace Brendan Aaronson in the frontline for the home side.

          Bayer Leverkusen Team News:

          Victor Boniface is closing in on a return to fitness and could be involved here, but not likely in the starting XI.

          Exequiel Palacios is out through injury, but otherwise the visitors have a pretty clean bill of health heading into this game.

          Czech striker Patrik Schick has five goals in Leverkusen's last five games so he'll be looking to continue his excellent form here.

          Form Guide (Last Five Games)

          Union Berlin are entering this game in fairly poor form on the whole having won one, drawn two and lost two of their last five games. Most recently, Union played out a forgettable 0-0 draw away at Eintracht Frankfurt which, while unspectacular, did represent a decent point for the side from the German capital. On top of that, it means Union have now taken four points from their last two games, with their game before the draw in Frankfurt a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen thanks to goals from Yorbe Vertessen and Brendan Aaronson.

          Prior to that, Union registered consecutive 2-0 losses against Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund which were preceded by a 2-2 draw against Heidenheim.

          Bayer Leverkusen have been in form the entire season. Alonso's men are coming into this game having won four and drawn one of their last five games, the most recent of which was a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim. Leverkusen 0-1 down to Hoffenheim in the 33rd minute and trailed for the majority of the remainder of the game, but two quick goals at the death from Robert Andrich (88') and Patrik Schick (90+1') saw the home side complete a remarkable late turnaround, something that's been a feature of Alonso's side this season.

          This victory followed 3-2 wins over Freiburg and Qarabag which also followed a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg, a result that was preceded by a 2-2 draw against Qarabag.

          Footy Accumulators Prediction

          It would take a brave punter to bet against Leverkusen losing another game–in the Bundesliga, at least–this season and there's not much logical reasoning to back that happening here. Leverkusen are simply on a different planet to Union in terms of both quality and form so we should see Alonso's men put one hand on the Bundesliga title this weekend. We predict: Union Berlin 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen.

          Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

          Header logoBundesliga

          PosClubPWDLGDPTS
          12
          Team logoBremen
          288713-831
          13
          Team logoUnion Berlin
          298516-2029
          14
          Team logoWolfsburg
          287714-1328
          Last updated 13/04/2024

          Header logoBundesliga

          PosClubPWDLGDPTS
          1
          Team logoLeverkusen
          282440+5076
          2
          Team logoBayern München
          281936+4460
          3
          Team logoStuttgart
          281936+3060
          Last updated 13/04/2024

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