9.12.2020Europa League

Lots of good reasons for target of winning the group

Victory in the home game against Slavia Prague will see the Werkself finish top of the group in the Europa League. Speaking at the pre-match press conference, head coach Peter Bosz named several reasons why he is playing to win against the team from the Czech Republic in spite of already being qualified for the Round of 32 plus the current heavy workload for his squad.

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The situation in Group C is clear: While Hapoel Be'er Sheva and Nice battle it out for third place, Bayer 04 and Slavia Prague face each other at the BayArena at the same time on Thursday night, 10 December (kick-off: 18.55 CET/live on DAZN and on Werks11 Radio on plus on the Bayer 04 app) to decide who will finish top. As the Werkself lost the previous meeting of the two teams following the questionable dismissal of Karim Bellarabi by the only goal of the game with ten men, the Bosz team need three points to win the group.

Top spot in the group would not only mean the Werkself would play a second-placed, and possibly weaker, team in the next round but it is also a matter of registering a win, "to continue the run we're on," said Peter Bosz. His team have won seven of the last eight games in all competitions with the only points dropped in a goalless draw with Hertha Berlin.

Alario at pre-match training session

The intensive weeks for the Bayer 04 first team will continue after the last Europa League clash for a while. There are three games in six days in the Bundesliga. "Rotation is very important at the moment," declared Bosz. So, the news was even better that Lucas Alario was able to train alongside his teammates at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium on Wednesday afternoon in the final pre-match training session following his recovery from injury. However, it remains to be seen whether the Argentinian will play against Slavia Prague.

Alario has not only demonstrated his goalscoring ability in the Bundesliga (seven goals) this season but also in the Europa League against Nice and Hapoel Be'er Sheva. Together with his teammates, the Werkself have scored 17 goals in five games on the European stage – currently the highest number of all the teams in the Europa League. Bosz on that: "I'm happy we’ve scored the most goals. But that's not so important. Tomorrow it's just about finishing top of the group."

Schick and rivalry with opposition

His striker Patrik Schick, who was also on the top table in the media centre at the BayArena as the Czech expert, would be happy to increase his goal tally and thereby help the Werkself to secure top spot. "I'm very happy to be able to play again. I feel fit. Now it's about getting to know my teammates better," said the 24 year-old who joined Leverkusen from AS Roma in the summer and recently returned from four weeks on the sidelines due to injury.

Another incentive for the clash with Slavia Prague from the perspective of Patrik Schick: The next opponents for the Werkself are big rivals of his youth team Sparta, also from Prague. "I liked Sparta from when I was a kid. And the rivalry between the two clubs is huge. It will be a special game for me," said the striker who is also looking to continue his personal happiness in Leverkusen with the potential of winning the group with the Werkself…

Match information:
Broadcasters: DAZN and Werks11 Radio
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (Greece)


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