Huge experience with the whistle: Antonio Matéu Lahoz is in charge of the first leg of Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday, 18 February (kick-off: 18.55 CET) between BSC Young Boys and the Werkself. The Spaniard has already officiated 33 games in the Champions League and 22 matches in the Europa League. One of those was at the BayArena, which was also a first leg in the knockout rounds and played in the middle of February too: The 43-year-old was in charge of the Werkself game at home to Benfica (0-1) in 2013.
The assistant referees in Bern are Matéu Lahoz’ fellow countrymen Pau Cebrián Devís and Roberto del Palomar.
It belongs to European away games like the Bayer Cross does to Leverkusen: the matchday walk. So, the Werkself set off at 11 in the morning. Of course, they adhered to all the coronavirus regulations. The Swiss capital provided an impressive backdrop with light cloud and temperatures around eight degrees but most thoughts turned to tonight’s game. Here are a few impressions from the walk:
Ahead of the knockout tie in Switzerland, Pirmin Schwegler was interviewed by Bayer 04 TV. The Swiss played for Young Boys in 2005/06 after his time at FC Luzern. “That year made me,” revealed the former player. Schwegler then played for the Werkself for three. He had, as he says, arrived in the “big league”. The Bundesliga is seen as the target for all Swiss football players. He made 46 appearances for Bayer 04 in defensive midfield. He continued his playing career in Germany at Eintracht Frankfurt and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
In conversation with Bayer 04 TV presenter Mara Mones, Schwegler not only talks about Young Boys and his time at Leverkusen but also his year in Australia and his current job at Bayern Munich. HERE is the interview (in German).
Getting ready for the first European game for the Werkself in 2021. The Bayer 04 TV preview of the clash in Bern includes impressions of training and Young Boy matches and also provides interesting information on the Swiss serial champions. HERE is the TV preview (in German).
Up to now, the Young Boys – primarily known as YB in Switzerland – and the Werkself have only met each other in friendlies. The last time was in the Uhren Cup in 2006 with YB winning 1-0. Bayer 04 have played competitive matches against Swiss teams. And the record is positive from a Black and Red perspective: In five meetings there have been three wins, one draw and one defeat.
However, the team under head coach Peter Bosz meet a side from the capital with a strong home record. Bern have won 16 of their 23 home games in the Europa League and recently only lost two of their last seven home games. So, YB are a force to be reckoned with at home, which is partly due to the artificial pitch. But we can be confident going into the game as the Werkself have been very keen to score goals in Europe this season. With 21 goals scored, Bayer 04 were the highest-scoring club in the group stage of the Europa League. There is only one club who have scored more goals in the group stages of the Europa League: that was Napoli in 2015/16 with 22.
Black Red and Gold instead of Black and Red: While the Werkself prepare for the Europa League match in Bern, the Germany Women’s team are in Leverkusen getting ready for their next game. The team coached by Martina Voss-Tecklenburg recently set their HQ for the international break in Düsseldorf. On Wednesday, Alexandra Popp and Co. used the outstanding training pitches at the BayArena in the build-up for the game against Belgium. This is part of a three nation tournament with the Netherlands. The kick-off in Aachen on Sunday 21 February is at 18.00 CET. Eurosport will broadcast the match live.
Klaus Schulze was a member of an historic Bayer 04 team: In 1978/79, the midfielder and his teammates took the club to the Bundesliga. Schulze made nine appearances in the second Bundesliga North in the promotion season and he played an important role in the crucial games at the end of the season; he played the full 90 minutes on matchdays 34 to 38. After one year in the top flight with Bayer 04, Schulze moved on to Casino Salzburg in Austria. He is 67 on this Thursday. Bayer 04 wish him: Many happy returns.
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