Preview - FC Cologne vs Bayer Leverkusen March 18 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 17, 2018, 06:12 AM

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Match Day 27
FC Cologne vs Bayer Leverkusen
Sunday, March 18th, 2018
22:30 pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: RheinEnergieStadion

FC Cologne: 
Last five matches form: L D W L L
Average goals per match: 1.0
Average goals against per match: 1.9
Top Scorer: Simon Terodde (5)

Bayer Leverkusen:
Last five matches form: L W L W W
Average goals per match: 1.8
Average goals against per match: 1.3
Top Scorer: Kevin Volland (10)

FC Cologne are going to need to start winning and soon if they are to stand any chance at all of escaping the relegation zone. A home game against third placed Bayer Leverkusen is possibly not what the doctor ordered in that regard, particularly as Leverkusen' motivation levels will be high as they need the points themselves in order to maintain their push for the Champions League.

Cologne generally seem to struggle all over the pitch, but they may have particular problems down their right hand side here with both Frederick SÅ‘rensen and Milos Jojic expected to miss out. Leverkusen are at full strength for this clash.

Having initially struggled away from home in the Bundesliga - losing their first three - Bayer Leverkusen are undefeated on their travels since. An impressive run of form which has seen them collect maximum points from tough venues such as Hoffenheim and Dortmund. They must therefore fancy their chances against basement boys Cologne.

The Billy Goats really are looking doomed now with even the possible reprieve of a relegation playoff looking way beyond this misfiring outfit. Whilst they have turned it on at times at the RheinEnergieStadion, notably in wins over Wolfsburg and Moenchengladbach, they continue to ship goals at an alarming rate, which is just about the number one quality you don't want to have when attempting to escape from trouble.

Cologne have scored in their past seven home games in the league and they may well get on the scoresheet once again but should ultimately come unstuck.

Prediction: FC Cologne 1 - 2 Bayer Leverkusen


Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 2 - 0
Shots: 7 - 10
Shots on target: 3 - 3
Corner Kicks: 2 - 2
Possession: 49% - 51%

Harm Osmers dished out three yellow cards to the home team here, with Marco Hoeger, Dominique Heintz and Leonard Bittencourt all being booked. Wendell saw yellow for the visitors, and most significantly of all Leverkusen's Lucas Alario was shown a straight red card.

Cologne started this match on the front foot and were in front well before the crucial sending off arrived. Leonard Bittencourt's cross in the ninth minute made its way to Yuya Osako around 12 yards from goal. Osako hit his shot hard and low, but Bernd Leno should still have done much better than allow the ball to squirm underneath him and over the line. 1-0.

Things became even better for the hosts in the 30th minute. There's never an excuse to be sent off for violent conduct, but a goal down and away from home, Lucas Alario's act of stupidity was just about the nail in Leverkusen's coffin here.

Leverkusen did make it into the break without further calamity but faced an uphill task in the second period.

The crucial second goal took a while to arrive but did eventually come in the 69th minute. A terrible defensive mix up involving Charles Aranguiz leaving Simon Zoller through on goal. Dinking the ball over Timo Hern who came rushing off his line, Zoller was left with the simple task of smashing the ball home from all of three centimetres. 2-0. And that's the way it stayed.

A disappointing showing from Leverkusen who failed to take this opportunity to move back into the top four against eminently beatable opponents. A big result for Cologne though who move off the bottom of the table. Showing marked improvement of late, the task of making up the gap to safety does not now look as impossible as it once did.

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