13.12.2019Bayer 04

Who will the Werkself play?

European football for Bayer 04 continues next year in the UEFA Europa League. Who the Werkself play in the Round of 32 will be decided before the end of the year. Next Monday, 16 December, the draw will be held in Nyon, Switzerland from 13.00 CET. The team under coach Peter Bosz could be playing a top side. News in brief on Friday.

As one of the four weaker teams from the Champions League and the part of unseeded sides, Leverkusen will play one of these seeded teams in the Round of 32: Ajax, Inter Milan, Benfica, RB Salzburg, Sevilla, Espanol, Manchester United, Arsenal, Celtic, FC Basel, FC Porto, Sporting Braga, LASK Linz, Basaksehir, KAA Gent and Malmö.

The Werkself will play the first leg at the BayArena as the seeded teams are at home in the second leg. Teams from the same association or the same group cannot play each other. The last appearance of Leverkusen in the Europa League was ten months ago: Bayer 04 were knocked out in the Round of 32 by FK Krasnodar after two draws (0-0, 1-1).

Reunion with Gräfe

Before that, there is the derby in Cologne on Saturday 14 December (kick-off: 15.30 CET). Bundesliga referee Manuel Gräfe has been appointed for this game. The 46-year-old Berliner will officiate his 26th match involving Bayer 04. In the previous 25 games under Gräfe, Leverkusen won 15 times with four draws and six defeats: In those games, the long-standing FIFA referee showed 47 yellow and five red cards to Werkself players.

Short distance

One thing is clear: Referee Gräfe will have the longest journey to Saturday's match of anybody involved on the pitch – and that by a long way. While Cologne and the capital are over 500 kilometres apart, the home grounds of FC Köln and Bayer 04 are just 14.66 kilometres apart as the crow flies. That's the shortest distance between two grounds in the Bundesliga. Not even the stadiums of the two Berlin clubs Hertha and Union come close to that figure with a distance of 23.09 kilometres.

Happy Birthday, Michal!

The former Bayer 04 player Michal Kadlec today (Friday 13 December) celebrates his 35th birthday. The Czech Republic international, with 67 caps, wore the Werkself shirt from 2008 to 2013. During that time, the left-back played 158 competitive matches scoring 14 goals and providing 15 assists. Bayer 04 wish him many happy returns on his birthday.

Vote for Kai in #TOTY

The Werkself first teamer Kai Havertz is among 55 players nominated for the FIFA 20 Team of the Year. Fans will have the opportunity to pick their team of the year. In addition to the Leverkusen player, the nominees include world stars like Virgil van Dijk, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo. The final line-up will be announced in January. You can vote here.

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