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24.11.2021Europa League

#B04CEL: Get the job done, keep developing

The penultimate Europa League group match could prove to be decisive: A home win against Celtic would see Bayer 04 finish top of Group G. Werkself head coach Gerardo Seoane not only wants to secure that position in the clash with the top Scottish club but also drive forwards the development of his team.

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The previous meeting at the legendary Celtic Park was convincing in terms of the result: After 90 minutes in ‘Paradise’, the nickname of Celtic’s home ground, the Werkself clocked up a clear 4-0 away win. “We earned that victory. We were effective in converting chances and were decisive in challenges,” said Gerardo Seoane at Wednesday’s pre-match press conference looking back at the encounter at the end of September. “However, there wasn’t a four goal difference in that match.”

The Swiss coach is expecting a tight match in the return game – also due to the upturn in performances and results for he visitors from Scotland. Seoane added: “They have put together a positive runs of results recently and focused their approach. The coach (Ange Postecoglou, ed.) has clearly made his mark on the team. They are now in a better ryhtym compared with the game in Glasgow.”

Quartet back on training pitch

The 43-year-old Leverkusen head coach has an ever bigger choice of personnel in the third last double fixture week in 2021: 25 players were involved in the final pre-match training session on Wednesday morning including the recovering players Patrik Schick, Lucas Alario, Charles Aránguiz and Karim Bellarabi. “We’re confident these players have come through the worst stage and will soon be back on the pitch,” said Seoane.

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Kerem Demirbay, who misses the Celtic game due to suspension for a red card, was not on the pitch unlike the injured Julian Baumgartlinger and Mitchel Bakker. The playmaker suffered a blow to the ribs in last weekend’s 1-0 home win against VfL Bochum. He is making use of his personal time off and is now doing rehab training.

Adli and a good Omen

Amine Adli joined head coach Seoane on the podium in the BayArena Media Centre on Wednesday. The Frenchman joined Leverkusen in the summer from FC Toulouse and has started five games on the bounce. “I feel at home in the dressing room and on the pitch,” declared the 21-year-old who scored his first Bundesliga against Bochum. “Nobody expected me to score with my head. (He laughs) But my first goal as a professional was a header. Perhaps that’s a good sign for the future at Leverkusen. I’ll be happy if that carries on.”

Adli is looking to build on his recent performances in the match against Celtic. The Europa League has definitely given the versatile attacker extra motivation. The France U21 international: “This competition is very important to us. We want to win all the games and then see where we end up.”

Seoane: additional tension

The situation ahead of the clash is clear for the Black and Reds: Three points against the third-placed Scots would win the group with a game to play. The new Europa League format – the team finishing top of the group avoids the next group stage – according to Seoane there is even more tension. “We want to secure our position in this situation. But we are focused on tomorrow’s game and not potential scenarios that might occur.”

tickets still available for #B04CEL 

19,400 tickets have been sold so far for the Werkself home game against the top Scottish team. Some 2,000 fans are set to arrive from Glasgow. Ticket offices will not be open on the day of the match, However, tickets can be bought online at the ticket web shop. The 2G rule (proof of vaccination or recovery) applies for this game. HERE is information of entry requirements at the BayArena.

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