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"Augsburg have shown their positive side in recent games," declared Gerardo Seoane at the pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon. They have only lost once in the last five league matches and picked up a point in both of the games against Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig. The Swiss boss made it clear: "They can compete with any team on a good day."
The management of the Bavarian Swabians found a missing piece for the FCA attack in the USA: Ricardo Pepi arrived from FC Dallas a few days ago. Seoane and his fellow coaches have already genned up on the talented 18-year-old. "Whenever a new player comes into the league, we take a look at them," said the coach. "He’s very talented."
Ahead of key defender Jonathan Tah and his teammates in the back row of the Black and Reds, the holding midfielders will definitely come into contact with Pepi. Robert Andrich, a goalscorer in the 2-1 win at Mönchengladbach, is an automatic first choice. In the same position, Julian Baumgartlinger (knee) and Exequiel Palacios (back) are ruled out through injury and Kerem Demirbay is missing due to a one-match ban. Also absent are Odilon Kossounou and Edmond Tapsoba, currently at the Africa Cup of Nations, plus Daley Sinkgraven and goalkeeper Andrey Lunev. Paulinho is now out of self-isolation after his coronavirus infection but it currently seems unlikely that the Brazilian will be in the squad due to remaining health checks following the illness.
Conversely, Charles Aránguiz is set to return to the match day squad. The Chile international has missed the last two Bundesliga games due to a calf injury. Seoane said in reference to the 32-year-old: "Charly isn't yet back to 100% and he hasn't trained with the team for four weeks. Nevertheless, he has so much experience that he can fit back in quickly."
The head coach named another alternative alongside Andrich in Nadiem Amiri who was "fully involved in training" this week. The Swiss coach could also consider a change of formation.
The first midweek match of the year for the Werkself is in March. Accordingly, Tah and Co. have been able to fully focus on training. All parts of the team have been involved in Leverkusen and they are well-prepared for the visitors from Augsburg.
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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
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Monster Energy has been a partner in the Sponsors Club at Bayer 04 Leverkusen since the start of the 2023/24 season. Monster Energy has shown their products at Werkself home games on the LED advertising hoardings at the BayArena. Monster Energy activated the next stage of the partnership with the current Bundesliga league leaders for Bayer 04’s home game against Union Berlin in the middle of November. Monster Energy will continue to present themselves as a reliable and ambitious partner to Leverkusen fans through similar promotional events as at the game against Union Berlin.Show more