Leverkusen have very good memories of their last encounter with Dortmund, as Seoane recalled at his pre-match press conference on Friday. It’s also the first time in over two years that the two teams will meet in a full stadium following the end of restrictions. “The excitement ahead of the game is huge. It’s a top match to start us off and a big challenge against a good opponent, which we happily accept and in which both teams will put on an attractive game,” the 43-year-old said.
The Swiss coach believes that improvements across the board are required after the cup defeat. “We have to improve in many areas compared to the cup game. The most important thing against a good team like Dortmund is to work well in defence when we don’t have the ball, close up the spaces and support each other.” The boss also believes that greater aggression in defensive work is the foundation for more determined play in attack.
Bayer 04 had a week of focussed and intense training for that. Seoane added: “Obviously we were still very disappointed at the start. But an immediate reaction on the pitch is now key. It was important that the players were all engaged and focussed in training from Tuesday. I can sense a great passion and desire within the team.”
He believes that consistency is one of the key jobs for the coming season. “It might sound a bit foolhardy after the last game, but we’re ambitious and want to be among the league’s top teams like last season and keep the fight for the title exciting as long as we can. We have exciting players who’ve already taken a step forward and will keep doing so.” However, consistent performances are needed in all areas over the long term to “get the most out of what we’ve got,” as Seoane clearly stated.
Seoane also believes Saturday’s hosts are a team with lots of quality this year. “Dortmund have realigned very well in the summer, both in central defence and in attack. They’ve also got players with a lot of experience in their ranks,” the coach said before poignantly adding: “At this point our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Sebastien Haller. An excellent player with finishing ability who could replace Erling Haaland.”
Seoane has no new injury concerns compared to the cup game at Elversberg. Apart from Amine Adli and Florian Wirtz, the whole squad is available for selection. Adli returned to team training this week, but according to Seoane still needs time until he can play.
Seoane’s side can count on the support of 5,294 Leverkusen faithful for Saturday’s trip to the Signal Iduna Park.
The team itself will make the short journey north on Friday afternoon following final training in Leverkusen.
The annual Black and Red Week is drawing to a close. And day 04, on Sunday 26 November, brings you an exclusive offer on Bayer 04 membership…Show more
The annual Black and Red Week is here. And day three on Saturday 25 November brings discounted tickets for the two home games against SC Paderborn 07 (DFB-Pokal Round of 16) and Molde FK (UEFA Europa League) plus an offer on the Werkself away shirt…Show more
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Bayer 04 are again participating in the Orange Your City campaign on this year's International Day For the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The BayArena will be floodlit in orange from 17.002 23.00 CET on 25 November.Show more