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Match Preview: Bayer Leverkusen’s fairytale season continues, breaking records left and right

Bayer Leverkusen’s fairytale season continues to get better and better, with records falling left, right, and center. The latest came just before the international break, when Bayer Leverkusen recorded their 22nd Bundesliga victory, beating Freiburg 3-2 to set a new club record for most wins in a top-flight season, with eight games still to play!

This victory extended their unbeaten run to 38 games in all competitions (33w, 5d), and with 26 of those games coming in the league, the team is rapidly closing in on Bayern Munich’s record of 28 games unbeaten at the start of a Bundesliga season. Their exploits so far have made winning their first-ever Meisterschale an inevitability, especially as they currently sit ten points clear of Bayern, a margin not seen at this stage of the season since the “three points for a win” era.

While all eyes in the football world will be on the home team, there are two teams in every football match and Hoffenheim are not going to the BayArena to make up the numbers. Pellegrino Matarazzo’s men come into the game as wounded animals, having lost their last two games conceding three goals each time.

“Die Kraichgauer” are on a worrying run of 22 games without a clean sheet (5w, 6d, 11l), including the 3-2 defeat to Leverkusen in November, Matarazzo’s seventh winless match in charge (D1, L6). Their away form will only add to their woes, with six defeats in their last nine away trips (1w, 2d), meaning they could be in for a long afternoon at the league leaders.

Key players to watch: Alejandro Grimaldo scored a brace in the reverse fixture, with the second goal contributing to a tally of four of his last five goals coming in the 50th minute or later. Wout Weghorst, also a scorer on that day, could again prove dangerous, as his other four goals this season have all come on the road.

Hot stat: Ten of the last 13 head-to-head encounters have seen both teams score.

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