25.10.2022Champions League

Alonso: Ready for Atlético and the Metropolitano

Build on the performance and the result in the previous game: Bayer 04 are looking for a win in the second meeting with the Rojiblancos following the 2-0 victory over Atlético Madrid at the BayArena. With three more points, the Werkself would overtake the top Spanish team and still be in the running for a place in the Round of 16. Ahead of the game on Wednesday night 26 October (kick-off: 21.00 CEST), Bayer 04 head coach Xabi Alonso talked about his players, the position in Group B and his opposite number Diego Simeone.

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The Spanish capital was home to Xabi Alonso for five years. As a player with Real Madrid, the now 40-year-old regularly faced the city rivals. Back then as today in the dugout at Atlético Madrid: Diego Simeone. "The ways of the coach are reflected in the team, the whole club and the fans of Atlético," said Alonso about the Argentinian who has been with the Rojiblancos since 2011. "Diego Simeone is a great coach and knows how to lead his team and take the crowd with him. But we are ready for this stage tomorrow night."

Frimpong: "We are ready to give 100 per cent"

While Atlético Madrid and the Werkself meet late on Wednesday evening (21.00 CEST), Club Brugge and Porto face each other at 18.45 CEST. Alonso: "It could be to our advantage if we know the other result from our group before we kick-off. That could give us more energy for our game."


Regardless of the other match and result, there is already great motivation and anticipation within the team for a successful conclusion to the clash with the Rojiblancos. Jeremie Frimpong, who also fielded questions from the German and Spanish media representatives on Tuesday evening, stressed: "All of us in the team know the importance of this match. We are ready to give 100 per cent tomorrow and do all we can to win."

Trio sidelined – Schick may feature

Above all, avoiding mistakes in the Werkself’s own game is required to take the three points back to Leverkusen. "We saw against Porto that the smallest error can be punished immediately at this level. We can't afford that to happen tomorrow," declared Alonso who will have to manage without Kerem Demirbay, Charles Aránguiz and Sardar Azmoun in the return game against Atlético.

It remains to be seen whether Patrik Schick will be available for the Atletico game. The Czech striker was recently sidelined with a groin problem but he did travel to Madrid on Tuesday. "Patrik has another day to recover so we won't make a decision about him today," explained Alonso.

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