And the Bayer 04 attack can expect to come up against a very strong defence in the team from the Greek capital: Panathinaikos did not concede in the goalless draw in the friendly against the English club Watford or in the 1-0 win against Al-Duhail from Qatar.
And the team under head coach Ivan Jovanovic had the best defence in the Super League last term (along with champions Olympiacos) with only 26 goals conceded in 36 matches. While that "only" meant fourth place in the Greek top-flight for the team from the capital, Panathinaikos did secure a title last season: They won the domestic cup competition in the middle of May with a 1-0 win in the final against PAOK Thessaloniki.
The core of the Panathinaikos team is formed by Greek players like captain Dimitrios Kourbelis who is in his sixth season with the 20-time Greek champions. Probably the biggest talent in the PAOK squad, homegrown player Sotiris Alexandropoulos, plays alongside the skipper in midfield.
The Greek players line up alongside teammates from other countries in southern Europe: Goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli is Italian, left-back Xavier is Portuguese, central defender Zvonimir Sarlija comes from Croatia and four other players are Spanish.
Panathinaikos and Bayer 04 have played each other in competitive matches in the past: In the Round of 16 in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1993/94, the Black and Reds lost 2-1 in the first leg but went through to the next round with a 4-1 victory over the Greeks in the second leg.
The Werkself host Paderborn in the DFB-Pokal round of 16 today, Wednesday 6 December (18:00 CET) at the BayArena. Here’s all the latest information ahead of the cup clash with the Bundesliga 2 club.Show more
The Bundesliga has announced its nominees for November’s Player of the Month, with two Werkself players up for the award in Alejandro Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong. Fans can now vote for who they want to win.Show more
Next year marks Bayer 04’s 120th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, we would like to take the opportunity, today and in the next few months, to regularly look at football under the Cross on bayer04.de and primarily delve into the question of: How have we become the club we are today? Part two of our series looks at our fans. Werkself supporters are enjoying this season like never before, providing incredible support both home and away.Show more
The Bundesliga has named the three nominees for November’s Rookie of the Month award. Werkself striker Victor Boniface, who has won the trophy in August, September and October, is once again up for the award. Fans have the chance to pick the winner by casting their votes online.Show more