Preview: Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund

Where Heart Meets Mind: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Bayer 04 Leverkusen will hope to continue their recent resurgence when they meet in-form Borussia Dortmund in a Bundesliga clash at the BayArena on Saturday.

Date: 29 September 2018
Game week 6
Kick-off: 18:30 local time/00:30 HKT (30 September)
Venue: BayArena

Referee: F. Brych
Assistants: M. Borsch, S. Lupp
Fourth official: F. Willenborg

Head-to-head summary

Bayer Leverkusen 78 27 22 29
Borussia Dortmund 78 29 22 27

Previous encounter

Dortmund 4-0 Bayer 21/04/2018 (Bundesliga)
Dortmund scorers: J. Sancho (13′), M. Reus (55′), M. Philipp (63′), M. Reus (79′)

Players to watch

Forward Marco Reus is showing the kind of form that saw him regarded as one of the best players in the world earlier in his career. The 29-year-old was then hit with a spate of serious injuries but it now appears he could deliver on his potential if he stays injury-free. With three goals in five league games, he could be one to watch on Saturday.

Attacking player Kevin Volland continues to supply a regular source of goals for Leverkusen with two to his name in five appearances in 2018/19. Last season the 26-year-old fired home 14 goals in 34 games for Die Werkself. With his goal-scoring being so important to his side – how he performs against BVB could be key this weekend.

Team form and manager quotes

After two straight defeats at the start of the season there were fears of a poor campaign ahead for Heiko Herrlich and his team.

However, the outfit from North Rhine-Westphalia have since recorded a win in the Europa League as well as two Bundesliga victories in a row.

As such, Herrlich has been impressed by the resolve and character displayed by his side in recent matches. He said: “The team proved in a tremendous pressure situation in Razgrad (in the 3-2 win over Ludogorets) and against Mainz (1-0 win) that they are brave and can play great football.”

Meanwhile, BVB are enjoying an impressive opening to the season under the guidance of Lucien Favre. The team have won three and drawn twice while scoring at a high rate. Last Wednesday they destroyed Nurnberg 7-0 and so go into the contest full of confidence.

Speaking to journalists, Favre revealed that while he was pleased with the progress being made, his system was yet to be perfected and more time was needed. He said: “The system will need time.”

Team news

Kevin Volland is expected to start after his match-winning brace in mid-week against Fortuna Dusseldorf. Argentine striker Lucas Alario is expected to start on the bench for this reason. Julian Brandt is likely to start ahead of Isaac Kiese Thelin.

Lukasz Piszczek is set to return at right-back while centre-back Abdou Diallo is available again after serving a suspension. Barcelona loanee Paco Alcacer is fully fit after a recent injury but Mario Gotze is out with illness. Jeremy Toljan and Omer Toprak are unavailable due to injury.