Who will come out on top when Bayern Munich host Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night? - © DFL
Who will come out on top when Bayern Munich host Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night? - © DFL

Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen: Bundesliga Match Facts analysis


Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen is a well-established fixture with regular ramifications on the top of the Bundesliga table, but the Matchday 8 meeting of the 2022/23 campaign is a particularly curious one after both sides made stuttering starts to the season.

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Going into Friday night's fixture, Bayern sit fifth after following three successive draws with defeat to Augsburg prior to the international break.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, have just one win to show for their efforts. They've lost four times already in the Bundesliga this term and sit 16th in the table - only outside the relegation places on goal difference.

The domestic pause brought about by last weekend's international fixtures has given both teams a welcome opportunity to refresh and go again, with the three points on offer at the Allianz Arena providing a potentially vital boost to the victor's campaign.

Watch: Bayern target return to winning ways

Similar issues: Plenty of chances, not so many goals

Julian Nagelsmann's hosts do still rank as the best attacking team in the league, with 19 goals under the champions' belt and an Expected Goals (xG) value of 17.4. They have, however, considerably slowed in recent weeks, having scored 15 of their 19 goals across the first three matchdays of the season and adding the remaining four during their current four-game winless streak.

They've not been without chances to end their barren run, they've just been less efficient. In fact, their efficiency rating has dropped from +6.5 after three weekdays to -4.9 in their last four.

Leverkusen are also significantly down on last year's output. Their 2021/22 top-scorer, Patrik Schick, posted the league's second best efficiency rating (+11.9) across the previous campaign, but has scored just once from 22 shots (11 on target). As a team, Bayer have produced nine goals, despite an xG of 11.6.

Leverkusen full of holes, Bayern often punished

Swiss coach Gerardo Seoane will recognise his defence as having the appearance of cheese from his homeland this season, with Die Werkself full of holes at the back. Only three other teams have conceded more than Leverkusen (12). The chances they have offered up to the opposition are rated 12.5 for xG, putting them 14th out of 18 teams in that regard.

The situation is different for the German champions, who have the third-best defence in the division after conceding just six times. The chances they have conceded are rated 7.1 for xG.

The defences of both clubs have a statistical ray of hope in the form of Alphonso Davies and Jeremie Frimpong, who are two of the fastest players in the league. At 22.4 mph, Canadian left-back Davies is the Bundesliga's quickest in 2022/23, level with Union Berlin's Sheraldo Becker, while Frimpong - who will line up directly against his Bayern counterpart - ranks fourth on the list after being clocked at 22.1mph.

Watch: Alphonso Davies and Jeremie Frimpong head-to-head

Could set-pieces prove decisive?

Set-pieces have become one of Bayern's most potent weapons this term. They've scored three times from a corner and once from a free-kick. Joshua Kimmich has been central to that success and Bayern are the top-flight's most dangerous from dead-balls, as highlighted by their corner threat of 63 percent.

Kerem Demirbay's stunning free-kick against Hertha Berlin means the visitors pose a threat of their own, and they have also scored from a corner. Their free-kick threat rating of 40 percent is well above the league average and considerably better than Bayern's (15 percent).

Overall, the statistical pre-amble looks to have the game just about in Bayern's favour, but you never know what will happen when two of the league's most recognisable teams - and wounded ones with points to prove, at that - go head to head.