Pick Leverkusen to Rule on the Rhine

Jane Barrett
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Pick Leverkusen to Rule on the Rhine
  • Bayer Leverkusen v Koln
  • Friday May 5, 2023 14:30 ET
  • At the BayArena

Both Koln and Leverkusen have plenty at stake in Friday’s Bundesliga clash but Leverkusen looks like a good pick to rule this latest Rhine derby.

Who do Bettors Favor?

As we can see from the top-rated sportsbooks bettors favor the home team in this Bundesliga clash on Friday night. Bayer Leverkusen is the -157 favorite to win against its local rivals while the visiting team is the +420 underdog, and the draw is available at between +310 and +327.

Bayer Leverkusen v KolnBetOnlineMyBookieBetUS

Leverkusen Pushing for the Top Four

A victory in the Europa League, where Bayer Leverkusen has advanced to the semifinals, could yet provide them with a European ticket, but failing that, the club will need a late-season surge to qualify for European competition next year.

On the plus side, Xabi Alonso's team is hitting its stride as it chases a place in the Bundesliga's top four with only four games remaining. Six wins in eight games is an excellent record and Leverkusen has now gone nine games without a loss. This winning streak included victories against Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig, suggesting that the team has nothing to fear in the final weeks.

It enters Friday's game in sixth place in the table, a remarkable turnaround considering it was in 17th place when Alonso took over in early October. However, it is still six points below Leipzig and eight points behind Freiburg. Given that all of Leverkusen's remaining four games are against teams in the bottom half of the table, there is an opportunity to make a push for the top four, starting on Friday evening.

Koln’s Safety Not Yet Assured

After a strong start to the season, Koln has slipped to the middle of the table, but a poor run of league form iin February and March means the club is not yet safe from relegation.

Mid-table safety would technically represent a decline from last season's seventh-place finish, but for head coach Steffan Baumgart, it would be far preferable to being dragged into a frantic relegation battle in the final weeks of the Bundesliga season.

Koln is not one of the relegation favorites, as it is seven points ahead of Bochum, who currently holds the final relegation spot. With four games remaining, however, safety is not yet assured, and Koln does not want to enter the final weekend of the season needing a positive result against Bayern Munich.

A draw or a win in this match would go far toward ensuring safety, even though there are easier games remaining against Werder Bremen and Hertha Berlin and the additional prospect of local bragging rights will also serve as motivation.

Bundesliga Betting Head-to-Head

This Rhine derby began in 1979, so it lacks the tradition of the Koln against Borussia Monchengladbach rivalry. However, the proximity of the two cities ensures that it is always highly competitive, and the head-to-head record indicates that Leverkusen has been the dominant team in this contest.

To date, Leverkusen has won 27 of the 69 Bundesliga matches played, while 25 have ended in a draw and Koln has prevailed on 17 occasions. Leverkusen has also won three of the last five meetings against Koln, including the latest meeting, which ended in a 2-1 victory at the RheinEnergieStadion in November thanks to goals from Nadiem Amiri and Moussa Diaby.

Bundesliga Betting Team News

Bayer Leverkusen will be without four key players for this match, according to the latest team news. Exequiel Palacios, Andrey Lunev, Charles Aranguiz, and Patrik Schick are all injured, but there is good news with the return of Nadiem Amiri, who was suspended for the previous game. He may return to the starting lineup, but Alonso may decide to place him on the bench to avoid disrupting the front three of Florian Wirtz, Moussa Diaby, and Adam Hlozek.

Sebastian Andersson, Mark Uth, and Florian Dietz remain sidelined due to injury, and Eric Martel will also be absent after receiving a second yellow card in the loss to Freiburg. Denis Huseinbasic could start in midfield in his absence.

Bundesliga Match Betting Picks

Derbies are notoriously difficult to predict, but I believe we are on relatively solid ground with this latest Leverkusen vs. Koln matchup. Both teams have gotten better in 2023, but Leverkusen's improvement has been more significant, and it has been especially dominant at home, earning 26 points from 15 games. Despite the fact that Koln will be highly motivated in this match, it has a poor record on the road, making the home win the best pick in the match betting market.

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Meet the author

Jane Barrett

With over 15 years of experience, Jane Barrett is a respected journalist in the sports betting industry. Jane has lent her expertise to major outlets including Betfair, ESPN, and Sporting Life during her prolific career. As a leading writer covering the sports bettin...

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