Bayer Leverkusen – RasenBallsport Leipzig: Interesting Clash Of Styles Turns Into Surprisingly Balanced Affair (1-1)
A game that was always going to be decided during moments of transition, Leverkusen and Leipzig battled out a game of two halves.
Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias.
You may have read it earlier in our pieces on Leipzig; our model values them to finish second in the Bundesliga this season. It’s early, and it does not look like a proper title challenge will be on the cards just yet, but Dortmund should be seriously worried about defending their second place. This goes to show you just how far good tactics, good recruitment and good player development can get you. That, and a worldwide network of feeder clubs and a lot of energy drink money.
Whereas Bayern, Leipzig and Dortmund will most likely finishing first, second and third, the fight for fourth place is more open. As has been common in the Bundesliga in the past few seasons, there will probably be a big pack of clubs - Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg, Leverkusen, Schalke, Frankfurt, Gladbach – that compete in a season-long jostle for European tickets, the most coveted being that direct Champions League ticket that comes with finishing fourth. As Leverkusen finished fourth last season and have started the season well, they seem to be front-runners for now.
Leverkusen manager Peter Bosz has relied on his peculiar asymmetric 3-2-4-1 formation recently, with Charles Aránguiz and Julian Baumgartlinger screening the defense. In this match, Kai Havertz and Nadiem Amiri played as the two number tens, Karim Bellarabi was fielded on the left and Mitchell Weiser on the right, meaning striker Kevin Volland . . .