When Bayer Leverkusen take the stage against Bayern Munich this Saturday, the whole of the Bundesliga, if not Europe, will be watching. Xabi Alonso’s side have taken the league by storm this year and may be the first team other than Bayern to lift the Meisterschale for the first time in a decade.
However, B04 will have to overcome some pretty impressive Bayern stats, in particular, one which has stood since 2015.
Bayern are used to these types of matches. For the past decade, they’ve had similar showdowns and come out on the other side to eventually go on a lift to the title.
In fact, Bayern have not lost any of their previous 21 first-versus-second matches. The last time they lost a top-two grudge match was against VfL Wolfsburg in January 2015. Even then, Bayern went on to win the title by 10 clear points.
However, something just feels different this season – Leverkusen just find a way to win. Over the past few matchdays, Alonso’s men have fought to the end and scored several crucial goals in the remaining seconds of games. This attitude and belief was highlighted midweek when Jonathan Tah scored a 90th-minute winner to send B04 into the last four of the DFB Pokal.
What’s more, for the first time in Bundesliga history, two teams have over 50 points after 20 matchdays. In any other year, either of these teams would be cruising to the title. You just get the feeling that Bayern’s rivals this year have a cutting edge to them, which previous title challengers have lacked in previous seasons.
It may come down to a moment of Magic from Harry Kane or a jinking Florian Wirtz run. However, this Saturday will prove to be quite the spectacle.
History is, of course, on the side of the away team, but perhaps that will just add to the B04 fairytale?
GGFN | Jamie Allen