Bayer Leverkusen have enjoyed a fantastic start to their 2023/24 Bundesliga season as they currently sit atop the table heading into this month’s international break. So far, they’ve recorded wins against RB Leipzig, Borussia Gladbach, and Darmstadt, outscoring their three opponents 11-3. Their goal difference is +8, just one better than Bayern Munich’s +7, as Leverkusen’s wins over Gladbach and Darmstadt were both by more than three goals.
Bayern have started brightly themselves, with wins over Werder Bremen, FC Augsburg and Gladbach, but their toughest test yet comes just after the international break concludes. On Friday, September 15th, Bayern will play host to Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena under the lights in what will be a clash of first and second in the Bundesliga gunning it out to be Tabellenführer.
Xabi Alonso’s side are playing a free-flowing brand of football that currently has them scoring at will, and it seems like Victor Boniface will certainly be giving Harry Kane a run for his money in this season’s race for the Torjägerkanone. At the other end of the pitch, Bayern have conceded one less goal than Leverkusen, having only given up two to Die Workself’s three, so September 15th’s encounter promises to be a good one.
Looking ahead to the showdown, Leverkusen’s Granit Xhaka and Jonathan Tah both said that they feel now is a time where they feel they can strike while the iron’s hot and get the better of the Rekordmeister. “We’re not afraid and we’re not going to Munich just to defend. We want to get something out of the game against such a strong team to see where we really stand,” Xhaka said (via @iMiaSanMia).
Tah has been at the receiving end of a handful of losses to Bayern and has made costly errors leading to goals in said matches, but he feels the confidence within the squad is much greater now than it was before. “This time I have the feeling that we are very solid. The team has changed. We have more experience and a lot of self-confidence. That’s why we of course have the ambition to win in Munich too,” he explained.
Of course, Leverkusen did get the better of Bayern during last season’s Rückrunde, but prior to that 2-1 win, the last time they had beaten Bayern was in November of the 2019-20 season by virtue of a 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena.