Bayer Leverkusen vs Qarabag Match Analysis & Prediction

Bayer Leverkusen

14/03/2024 11:00 pm

Qarabag

Bayer Leverkusen will be looking to keep their treble hopes alive when they host Qarabag FK at the BayArena for the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday.

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Xabi Alonso’s side were required to come from two goals down to rescue a 2-2 draw in the first leg, setting up an intriguing return match in Germany with a quarter-final spot at stake.

Leverkusen’s record-breaking unbeaten run across all competitions was in serious danger of coming to an end last week, as Qarabag entered the final 20 minutes of the first leg in Azerbaijan with a two-goal lead through first-half goals from Yassine Benzia and Juninho.

However, Xabi Alonso – who made eight changes to his starting lineup – had to rely on a couple of suubstitutes to restore parity for Leverkusen, with Florian Wirtz initially pulling one back with a fine run and finish before Patrik Schick headed home a dramatic 92nd-minute equaliser.

Die Werkself followed up just their fifth draw of the campaign with their 31st victory across all competitions when they beat 10-man Wolfsburg 2-0 in the Bundesliga last Sunday. Nathan Tella and Wirtz scored either side of halftime after Mortiz Jenz’s early dismissal to maintain the club’s 10-point lead at the summit with just nine matches remaining.

Alonso’s side will welcome a return to the BayArena where they have won all three matches in the Europa League this season, including a 5-1 group-stage victory over Qarabag in October.

Leverkusen are bidding to become only the second team in UEFA Cup/Europa League history to score four or more goals in four successive home matches after themselves back in 1994-95.

Competing in the last 16 of a major European competition for the first time in their history, Qarabag certainly did themselves proud in the first leg, with Leverkusen manager Alonso admitting after the game that the Azerbaijani side “were unlucky” to not hold on for a famous win.

Qarabag have since extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to eight matches after beating Zira 3-1 on home soil last weekend, their 14th victory in their last 15 Azerbaijan Premier League games.

Goals from Nariman Axundzada, Richard Almeida and Adama Diakhaby helped Qarabag post their 20th top-flight win of the campaign and preserve their 23-point lead at the summit, and they now require just eight points from their final 10 games to win a third title in a row.

The Horsemen have had a few problems scoring this season, as they have netted at least twice in each of their last five Europa League matches, while they have only failed to score in one of their last 17 games in UEFA competition.

However, scoring again may not be enough for Gurban Gurbanov’s side to triumph on Thursday, as they have lost all four of their previous visits to Germany, while their only defeat in their last six Europa League away games was the aforementioned 5-1 loss at Leverkusen earlier this season.

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Qarabag Head to head

These two teams have only previously met on three occasions, with Leverkusen winning twice while they drew once.

  • 26/10/2023
    Bayer Leverkusen
    5
    Qarabag
    1
    Europa League
  • 09/11/2023
    Qarabag
    0
    Bayer Leverkusen
    1
    Europa League
  • 07/03/2024
    Qarabag
    2
    Bayer Leverkusen
    2
    Europa League
  • 14/03/2024
    N/A
    N/A
    N/A
    N/A
    N/A
  • 14/03/2024
    Bayer Leverkusen
    N/A
    Qarabag
    N/A
    Europa League

Bayer Leverkusen Team News

Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface (groin) and Artur (thigh) remain sidelined with injuries, while backup goalkeeper Matej Kovar is a doubt after missing last weekend’s game with a muscle problem.

First-choice shot-stopper Lukas Hradecky could be called upon to start his first Europa League game of the campaign.

Bayer Leverkusen's Last 5 Matches

  • 17/02/2024
    Heidenhein
    1
    Bayer Leverkusen
    2
    Bundesliga
  • 23/02/2024
    Bayer Leverkusen
    2
    Mainz
    1
    Bundesliga
  • 03/03/2024
    FC Cologne
    0
    Bayer Leverkusen
    2
    Bundesliga
  • 07/03/2024
    Qarabag
    2
    Bayer Leverkusen
    2
    Europa League
  • 10/03/2024
    Bayer Leverkusen
    2
    Wolfsburg
    0
    Bundesliga

Qarabag Team News

Qarabag will be boosted by the return of left-back Elvin Cafarquliyev and midfielder julio Romao, who are both expected to start after missing the first leg through suspension.

Cafarquliyv could join Marko Vesovic, Bahlul Mustafazada and Badavi Guseynov in the back four, protecting former Leverkusen goalkeeper Andrey Lunev.

Qarabag's Last 5 Matches

  • 25/02/2024
    Qarabag
    2
    Sumqayit
    0
    Premyer Liqa
  • 28/02/2024
    Qabala
    0
    Qarabag
    4
    Premyer Liqa
  • 03/03/2024
    Nefchi Baku
    1
    Qarabag
    4
    Premyer Liqa
  • 07/03/2024
    Qarabag
    2
    Bayer Leverkusen
    2
    Europa League
  • 10/03/2024
    Qarabag
    3
    Zira
    1
    Premyer Liqa

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Qarabag: Odds and Predictions

Main Prediction

1X2: 1

Best Odds

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