Form: Downward spiral halted
Bayer Leverkusen have shown two faces this season. After a strong first third of the campaign, which briefly led the ‘Werkself’ to the top of the table, results took a turn for the worse. After suffering their first Bundesliga defeat of the season against Bayern Munich in their final fixture of 2020, the Rhineland club won just three of their first 13 league games of this year.
Following elimination in the DFB Cup and UEFA Europa League, the club parted company with head coach Peter Bosz last month, appointing Hannes Wolf on an interim basis until the end of the season. The 40-year-old has started with two wins, one draw and one defeat.
Leverkusen currently sit in sixth place, five points shy of fifth-placed Borussia Dortmund and four ahead of Borussia Mönchengladbach in seventh. Therefore, participation in European competition next season is in their own hands.
|Bayer Leverkusen 2020/21|
|Stats||13 wins, 8 draws, 9 defeats, 48:34 goal difference, 47 points, 6th in the table|
|Goalscorers||Alario (10), Schick (9) Bailey (8), Diaby (4), Wirtz (4), Demirbay (3), Amiri (2), Baumgartlinger (2), Dragovic (1), Gray (1), Tah (1), Tapsoba (1), Weiser (1)|
Tactics: Counters and corners – a recipe for success
Wolf has deployed a 3-4-2-1 formation in his games so far. His side place a lot of emphasis on their transitional play, as they possess a tremendous amount of pace. Bayer boast three of the seven fastest men in the Bundesliga in Leon Bailey, Moussa Diaby and Jeremie Frimpong, while seven goals on the counter-attack is the joint-most in the league together with VfB Stuttgart.
Leverkusen have also netted nine times from corners this season, more than any other team in the German top flight.
One to watch: Moussa Diaby
Diaby progressed through various youth levels at Paris Saint-Germain before turning pro with the French serial champions in 2018. Since joining Bayer the following year, the winger has made 78 appearances in all competitions for the Werkself.
The 21-year-old Frenchman brings bags of pace as well as nimble dribbling and regular goal involvements. Diaby is Leverkusen’s top provider this term with eight assists, while his combined tally of 12 goals and assists is only bettered by Bailey (15).