11.10.2022Champions League

Our next opponents: Conceicao has to manage without Pepe

Bayer 04 and Porto meet again a week later on matchday four in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. The Werkself entertain the Portuguese champions at the BayArena on Wednesday 12 October (kick-off: 21.00 CEST).

The big team from the north-west of Portugal picked up the points in the first game against Porto. The team under coach Sergio Conceicao ran out 2-0 winners against the Werkself on their home turf at the Estádio do Dragão with goals from Zaidu (69') and Galeno (87'). Those were the first points for the Dragons in Group B and they are now in third place level on points behind Bayer 04 in second and fourth-placed Atlético Madrid. Club Brugge are the runaway leaders with nine points from three games.

Porto remain on heels of Benfica

Porto are still flourishing on the domestic stage. The Blue and Whites won 2-0 away to SC Portimonense in the Portuguese league at the weekend. The lead for the visitors came from an unusual one-two: Otavio chested the ball down to Evanilson in the penalty area and he played it back with his belly. Otavio then slotted the ball into the net to give Porto a 1-0 lead (22'). The Dragons increased the advantage just after the restart following excellent work from Mehdi Taremi in the build-up with the Brazilian Pepê doubling the lead at 2-0. That secured the victory.

Pepe: no reunion with Xabi Alonso

Porto remain close on the heels of league leaders Benfica with the seventh win in nine games and they are three points behind the top-of-the-table team from the capital in second place. "I didn't really like the first 15 minutes but after that we created lots of chances and we could have won by a bigger margin," said coach Conceicao analysing the 2-0 win on the Algarve.

The 47-year-old coach will have to manage without central defender Pepe in Leverkusen on Wednesday. The stalwart led his team out as captain in the 2-0 victory over the Werkself but suffered a knee injury in training a couple of days later. That means Pepe is not available for the game at the BayArena. He would have particularly looked forward to a reunion with Xabi Alonso. Pepe made 156 appearances for Real Madrid under the current Werkself head coach from 2009 to 2014. They won the Champions League together with the clu

Wendell looking forward to return

Pepe's current teammate Wendell is really looking forward to a return to his former stamping ground. The Brazilian defender played for the Werkself for seven years. Now he has a good chance of being in the Porto starting line-up for Wednesday night's match at the BayArena. The 29-year-old left-back has started the last three games. "I have so many friends Bayer 04 and it will be a very emotional moment for me to be playing at the BayArena again," said Wendell.

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