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One point is particularly important to Karim Bellarabi: "Some of our fans will be at the stadium tomorrow night. We want to give them a good and hopefully successful game," said the 31-year-old who joined Bayer 04 ten years ago and is a crowd favourite in the Werkself squad.
Head coach Gerardo Seoane added: "Our target was to go through. It wasn't a given that we would succeed in doing that before the last group match," said the Swiss coach. "Now we want to go into this sixth match in a serious manner and continue our great performances in this competition."
20 players boarded the aircraft on Wednesday morning. One of them was: Andrey Lunev. The Russian new signing will be between the sticks for the first time in a competitive match this season. "But it's not a gift to him, Andrey has earned this opportunity much more through his excellent performances in training," declared Seoane. The 30-year-old shot-stopper has fitted in with the team from day one and always supported the number one keeper Lukas Hradecky. Seoane added: "Andrey does everything to apply himself as best as possible. And his sporting qualities are obviously indisputable. He has a lot of experience and shows great reflexes on the line."
In addition to the injured (Baumgartlinger, Bakker), not yet available (Fosu-Mensah) and suspended (Demirbay) players, another trio remained in Leverkusen: Goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, playmaker Florian Wirtz and centre forward Patrik Schick. "Lukas has played every game since the summer. Patrik is coming back from an injury and Florian has had slight problems recently. With him it's a case of controlling his workload," said Seoane.
Ferencváros, currently top of the Hungarian OTP Bank Liga, have won four out of the last five league matches. "We saw their strengths in the previous meeting," said Seoane. In the opening match in the Europa League group stage, the Hungarians took the lead at the BayArena after eight minutes with the game ending in a narrow 2-1 win for the Werkself. The 43-year-old added: "They have fast players up front but also a certain robust approach and strength in challenges in defence. We will again have to do a lot to come out on top."
The coach is certain the Black and Reds will do that to achieve the desired "serious and successful conclusion."
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
Bayer 04 involvement with the ‘Kältegang Leverkusen’ project continues this winter. The current Bundesliga league leaders and their fans again presented financial and in-kind donations to the homeless charity at home game against Borussia Dortmund (1-1).Show more
The Werkself remain unbeaten after the 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Bundesliga Matchday 13. The one-sided game demanded a lot of strength of nerve and competitive spirit from Xabi Alonso's team. In the end, Victor Boniface rewarded the relentless attacking efforts of the league leaders against passive but efficient visitors. The Werkself review.Show more
Bayer 04 were held to a 1-1 draw by Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga. Julian Ryerson had put the visitors in front at a sold-out BayArena after only five minutes. Leverkusen would go on to dominate proceedings and finally get their deserved equaliser through Victor Boniface in the 79th minute. It’s a result that extends the Werkself’s unbeaten run in all competitions this season to 20 matches.Show more
For the 17th time, Bayer 04 Sportförderung gGmbH has awarded the Volunteers Award for outstanding commitment to football in Leverkusen and the surrounding region. The three outstanding clubs in 2023 are BSV Roleber 1919, TuS 05 Oberpleis and SV 1924 Glehn. They will each receive prize money of €5,000.Show more