8.12.2021Europa League

#FTCB04: Be ‘serious and successful’ in last group match

The end of the Europa League group phase: On the sixth and final matchday in Group G, Bayer 04 are away to Ferencváros on Thursday, 9 December (kick-off: 21.00 CET). The Werkself are already certain of finishing top of the group and thereby going straight through to the Round of 16. Nevertheless, there are several reasons why the leaders should take the clash with the team at the bottom of the group seriously as head coach Gerardo Seoane and experienced player Karim Bellarabi emphasised at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday evening.

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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."

Lunev in goal – Trio do not travel

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.

Seoane on opposition: "showed strengths in previous meetin"

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."

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