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LOOK AHEAD: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

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We will be facing plenty of attacking power when we host Bayer Leverkusen at anne Castroper on Sunday. The Bayer team is well on its way to qualify for the Champions League. Here is our LOOK AHEAD to #BOCB04:

THE TEAM
Third in the table, six points ahead – Champions League qualification is in the air. Bayer Leverkusen is playing a spectacular season. 110 goals were scored in the 28 games played by the “Werkself” (factory team) – only the matches involving Bayern generated more goals. Leverkusen recorded high-scoring victories: 7-1 against Fürth, 5-2 against Dortmund, 5-1 against Augsburg, 4-0 against Gladbach. On the other hand, they also lost 5-1 to Bayern, 5-2 in Frankfurt and 4-3 against BVB.

However, so far, the successes have outweighed the losses, so Gerardo Seoane’s team will almost certainly be in Europe in the new season. As mentioned above, this is especially due to their attack – Patrik Schick has scored a fabulous 20 goals in 21 games, with Moussa Diaby on 12.

However, Bayer are missing some key players due to injuries. Especially the bitter injury of shooting star Florian Wirtz touched every football fan in Germany. The 18-year-old regularly shines on the pitch and we all hope that he will be back on the pitch soon. But Wirtz is not the only player missing for Leverkusen in the final stretch of the season. Amine Adli, who scored the winning goal in our first match, is out with a torn tendon. Jeremie Frimpong will also be out of action this season, having torn his syndesmosis ligament. Compared to the first match, Sardar Azmoun, an Iranian international, has joined Bayer from St. Petersburg in the winter.

THE HEAD COACH
Since the beginning of the season, Gerardo Seoane has been in charge of Bayer 04. For the 43-year-old, it is his first job in the Bundesliga. Before that, the former professional worked as head coach in his home country, Switzerland. For his hometown club FC Luzern he coached the U18s, U21s and worked as an assistant coach before becoming head coach in January 2018. After half a season, however, it was over in Lucerne: Young Boys Bern lured Seoane, who also has Spanish citizenship, to the Swiss capital.

Three championship titles in a row and a Cup victory later, Soane moved on to Germany’s top tier. This was “a leap to the next level,” said Seoane, who speaks six languages fluently, at the start. “Of course, Switzerland always looks towards the Bundesliga. It’s a top European league, and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have consistently been among the top clubs for many years.”

Seoane and Bayer seem to be a perfect fit. The coach has a contract until 2024 and has led his team to largely convincing performances this season. They are third in the league and made it to the last 16 in the Europa League before being ousted by Atalanta Bergamo.

THE RECORD
Bayer Leverkusen are not really the Blue-and-Whites’ favourite opponent as they won 27 of 58 duels. This was also the case in our first encounter this season. VfL put in a strong performance away at Leverkusen, but in addition to some bad luck, they had to cope with a video referee who did not have his best day. No penalty whistle after a foul by Tah, no red card despite a brutal tackle at knee height on Elvis – two blatantly wrong decisions that caused a lot of discussion afterwards. In the end, it didn’t matter, because Adli’s early goal sealed an unfortunate VfL defeat. Our last victory over Bayer dates back to 2008, when Thomas Zdebel and Christoph Dabrowski scored in a 2-0 win. 

 

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LOOK AHEAD: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

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