Bundesliga 2023-24: Bayern host leaders Leverkusen; RB Leipzig eye third consecutive win in Matchday 4
Serhou Guirassy leads the scoring chart
The game’s ingredients are many. Bayer coach Xabi Alonso is facing the side with which he won three Bundesliga titles as a player. The Spaniard will also be coming up against Thomas Tuchel – Bayern’s tactical overseer – for the first time. For the hosts, the game represents an opportunity for revenge with painful memories of a defeat against Leverkusen the last time the teams met still fresh in local minds.
And then there are the protagonists: two super talented sets of players intent on attacking. Up top, Bayern boast new signing Harry Kane, the world-renowned striker who has burst onto the Bundesliga scene with three goals and an assist. A first-rate player who can decide a game in an instant, England’s all-time leading scorer will be keen to do just that under the Friday-night lights in Bavaria.
Yet Leverkusen – aiming to win their opening four Bundesliga games for the first time in the club’s history – have their own striking sensation whose scintillating form has helped propel Bayer forward. The only player this season with six goal involvements (four goals, two assists), Victor Boniface has made a breathtaking beginning to life in the Bundesliga since his summer move to the BayArena.
Surrounded by eagle-eyed teammates like Jeremie Frimpong, Jonas Hofmann, Granit Xhaka and, of course, attacking wizard Florian Wirtz, the 22-year-old Nigerian Boniface – the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for August – has excelled among top company. As has Kane, whose partnership with Alphonso Davies – the Bundesliga’s joint-top assist provider so far this term – has been a sight to behold.
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With the action spilling into Saturday, the chasing pack will look to shake free of each other, with six teams locked on six points behind the front two. High-flying VfB Stuttgart and their five-goal Bundesliga leading goalscorer Serhou Guirassy will want to continue their fine run of form when they visit 1. FSV Mainz 05 while RB Leipzig – big winners at 1. FC Union Berlin last time out – are at home to FC Augsburg. Supercup winners are once again proving a star turn in the top flight, and in recent arrival Xavi Simons have landed an on-loan midfield marvel who is promising greatness at just 20 years of age.
Borussia Dortmund went agonisingly close to winning the Bundesliga last season, Edin Terzic’s men losing out to Bayern on the final day of 2022-23. After a couple of recent draws against VfL Bochum and 1. FC Heidenheim, BVB will want to get back to winning ways this term, but they will have their work cut out away at SC Freiburg, one of those teams on six points.
Elsewhere, UEFA Champions League challengers Union – who are soon to face Real Madrid – will seek to bounce back from last weekend’s setback when they go to VfL Wolfsburg, while new boys Heidenheim will have one more go at claiming what would be a first-ever Bundesliga win with Frank Schmidt’s side hosting SV Werder Bremen at the Voith-Arena on Sunday – the day Schmidt marks 16 years at the helm and officially becomes the longest-serving coach in German football history.
With Bochum against Eintracht Frankfurt and SV Darmstadt 98 hosting Borussia Mönchengladbach also among the Matchday 4 fixtures, a weekend of high drama and top entertainment is guaranteed.