Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen preview: Relegation strugglers meet Champions League chasers
(Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Covid-19 interrupted the Bundesliga season back in early March, with just eight points separating the top five, and everything to play for in the relegation battle.

However, last week the DFB delivered the news football fans across Europe were dreaming off- the Bundesliga is back!

This season has not gone according got plan for Werder Bremen. Die Werderaner, who last season finished the campaign in eighth, are currently languishing seventeenth in the table, just two points above bottom of the table Paderborn.

The visitors on Monday evening are enjoying a more successful campaign. Bayer Leverkusen sit fifth in the table, trailing the league leaders Bayern Munich by eight points with nine games remaining.

With their Champions League qualification hinged on their remaining fixtures, Die Werkself will be hoping they can hit the ground running after two months out.

  • Current Form

Whilst clubs have had two months to assess and reassess their on-field issues, current form does not completely go out of the window.

Werder Bremen will be hoping they can turn around a miserable run of results which has seen them pick up just one league win in their past eleven outings.

Their last game, a 2-2 draw away to Hertha Berlin, put a stop to a five-game losing streak which saw the club drop into the bottom two.

Their cause will not be helped by their horrific home form. Werder, currently sit bottom of the home form table, with just one win at Weserstadion all season, that coming back in September against a ten-man Augsburg.

In contrast, they come up against one of the divisions finest away teams. Leverkusen have gained twenty-two points on the road this season, the third best tally in the Bundesliga.

Leverkusen will be one of the teams most disrupted by the postponement of fixtures. Prior to the interruption, the club had won nine of their last ten in all competitions, including a DFB Pokal cup run and victories in the Europa League.

In their last league outing, Leverkusen made light work of Eintracht Frankfurt, defeating them 4-0 at BayArena.

  • What to Expect

If the reverse fixture is anything to go by, this could be a closer encounter than the league table suggests. Back in October, the two sides exchanged blows to produce a 2-2 draw, despite a dominant Leverkusen performance.

The home sides league position is no surprise when you delve into the statistics.

No side has scored less or conceded more than Werder, with a goal difference of minus twenty-eight the worst in the division. Therefore, the chances of Leverkusen getting on the scoresheet is likely.

Only Bayern Munich average more possession per game than the visitors, and only two sides make more short passes per game, indicating that Leverkusen will dictate the tempo- despite being the away team.

One area Leverkusen may look to hurt Werder is from set pieces. The home side have conceded from fourteen throughout the campaign- the most in the division.

Key Men

Werder have had very little to shout about this campaign, yet the performances of Kosvian Milot Rashica have drawn the eyes of scouts across Europe.

With reports this week linking him to the likes of West Ham United and Liverpool, it’s unlikely the 23-year-old will be sticking around Bremen regardless of their fate.

Operating mostly on the wing or up front, Rashica is Werder’s top scorer this season with seven goals to his name. He is also their leading assist provider with four.

Another man attracting interest from abroad is highly thought of midfielder Kai Havertz. The Leverkusen youngster has played the third most number of minutes for his club, despite his age of just twenty.

In the process, Havertz has managed six goals from midfield as well as five assists. However, his tally in both aspects is bettered by once German international Kevin Volland.

The striker has nine goals and seven assists and his average of three shots per game illustrates he will be a handful for the Werder defence.