We are super pumped that the Austrian Bundesliga has been added to Sorare and we can’t wait for the German Bundesliga to join in line. We’re unsure when this moment will be, so we want to focus on the teams that have an individual licensing with Sorare already, namely Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. Today Bayer 04 Leverkusen will be the center of attention. This article aims at providing in-depth analysis based on previous friendlies as well as the latest implications with the first round of the DFB Pokal, the German cup.
In the previous season, Bayer Leverkusen qualified for the Europa League with a sixth place finish but with a considerable gap of 9 points to place 4 which would have secured the group stage of the Champions League. After the dismissal of Peter Bosz who had seeded an offensive playing style in his two years as a manager, Hannes Wolf secured the Europa League place with a solid finish after he took over as a caretaker manager in March. However it was soon clear that he would not been offered a permanent contract. Since July, Swiss Gerardo Seoane (prior with Young Boys Bern) is the new manager.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen started early to take care of transfers, partly out of necessity due to several injuries of presumed starters (see below). With Mitchel Bakker (PSG) and Odilon Kossounou (Club Brugge), two high caliber players have strengthened the defence. Both of them will be sure to play once acclimatized to the new team. Kossounou played in the cup game and also the friendly before, twice with a solid performance and a clean sheet. Both defenders are really young (20 and 21 years respectively) but compared to Zidan Sertdemir – who is only 16 (and super-promising) they seem to be almost old. We don’t think that Sertdemir will play a large role in this year’s lineup.
Somewhat as a surprise, B04 were also able to convince Andrey Lunev to leave Zenit St. Petersburg. Unless there is an injury to Lukas Hradecky (who is also the new captain of the team) we believe that he will also keep the starting goalkeeper position, maybe with a deal that Lunev can play the European games. Pohjanpalo and Retsos returned from loan but will be second choice at best.
In addition to the retirement of the Bender twins, most notably Leon Bailey left B04 to join Aston Villa (we are sure he will collect solid Sorare scores there). With Dragovic and Tin Jedvaj, two defenders also left the club.
Edmond Tapsoba will likely miss the first few games due to a ruptured syndesmosis, Timothy Fosu-Mensah has been injured since March with an ACL and will surely miss out several more games. Karim Bellarabi was substituted in the cup game last weekend and will likely miss out two to three games. With Lucas Alario, the second forward is also set to miss the next game due to a torn muscle fiber. Bakker and Wirtz missed the cup game. Bakker should probably return for the first game of the Bundesliga season and was supposedly rested with a contusion. The resting of Wirtz has also been a precautionary measure, yet he seems unlikely to play at least next weekend.
Potential formation and assumed lineup
Assuming that Seoane will stick to his preferred 4-2-3-1 which he also used for the game against Lok Leipzig, the lineup next weekend could look like this.
Goalkeeper: It would be a huge surprise if Hradecky would not play.
Defence: If fully recovered, Bakker should replace Sinkgraven on the left side. Tah will likely replace Retsos who is assumed to leave Bayer Leverkusen sooner rather than later (Tah was suspended for the cup game). Kossounou should complete the “Innenverteidigung”. To ease the situation of the central defenders, Thilo Kehrer and Piero Hincapie are in discussion to join B04. Frimpong will continue as right back, but could also play more offensively.
Defensive Midfield: With the additional recommendation of two goals and a good performance, Demirbay will surely play. The second spot in defensive midfield will probably be taken by Aranguiz / Baumgartlinger would be the first alternative in our opinion.
Offensive Midfield: Diaby should start on the left side. Amiri will play either in a central position or as right wing; we would prefer Palacios over Wendell as right wing, but the offensive lineup is the most difficult to judge.
Forward: Almost as safe as the goalkeeper: Schick will play.
At current prices (9 August 2021), Jonathan Tah looks like a bargain at 0.1 ETH. Demirbay at 0.15 ETH also looks ok as he seems to be set for a lot of playing time this season. As always, however, do your own research before buying any players on Sorare.