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25.02.2021Europa League

News in brief: Final training session gallery – Massa refs #B04YB

A photo gallery of the final training session before the crucial Europa League home game against Young Boys Bern, the match officials for #B04YB, and a European Championships winner on the favourites in the knockout game against the Swiss club: today’s news in brief.
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Sunshine in Leverkusen: The Werkself had their final pre-match training session at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium on Wednesday. Charles Aránguiz and Co. trained for an hour with the temperature at the BayArena at nearly 20 degrees before the Black and Red group headed to the team hotel. Bayer04.de provides images of the final full training session ahead of the home game in the Europa League knockout rounds against Young Boys Bern on Thursday, 25 February (kick-off: 21.00 CET):

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Lustenberger on YB’s chances

Fabian Lustenberger played for Hertha Berlin for twelve years. The defender is now back in his home country of Switzerland – playing for Young Boys Bern. Speaking at the press conference ahead of the game in Leverkusen and his return to Germany, the 32-year-old declared: „”We’re in a good position. But we know Leverkusen have incredible qualities. We know what to expect, we’re ready and we’ll push them all the way.” His coach Gerardo Seoane added: “I think it won’t be as crazy a game as the first one. When you play each other twice in such a short space of time then both sides will have learned their lesson.” Young Boys narrowly won the first leg 4-3 in Switzerland.

Italian match officials

Davide Massa will referee the knockout clash at the BayArena. This will be the second time the 39-year-old has been involved in a Werkself match: Massa was in charge of the first leg of the tie between Bayer 04 and FK Krasnodar just over two years ago. In Leverkusen, Massa will be assisted by his fellow countrymen Filippo Meli and Stefano Alassio.

Freund: Bayer 04 are “the favourites”

In addition to streaming service DAZN, RTL Nitro will broadcast the match on terrestrial TV. The coverage will start at 20.15 CET. Marco Hagemann and Steffen Freund will be commentating live from Leverkusen, the host Laura Wontorra and pundit Roman Weidenfeller will be at the TV studio in Cologne.

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RTL pundit Freund, European Championships winner in 1996, said before the second leg: “Leverkusen are the favourites, that is self-evident. We saw two different halves in the first leg. Bern surprised Leverkusen in the first half. Then they moved up a gear, played faster and Bern had to defend.”

From 20.30 CET: Werks11 Radio on air

Werks11 Radio will also be broadcasting live. Cedric Pick and Niko Hartmann will be keeping Black and Red fans up-to-date as usual from the press box. The duo go on air at 20.30 CET. Before that, Pick and Hartmann will be guests at the Clubhouse talk show ‘#Werks11 UEL warm-up from 20.00 CET. Also there: Stadium announcer Tobias Ufer and podcast producer Kevin Scheuren. Log on and join in with the interactive discussion.

Bailey on ‘Stars of the Bundesliga’

Away from the Europa League match: Following on from Lucas Alario being on the Sky programme ‘Stars of the Bundesliga’ a month ago, now it’s the turn of another Werkself player: Leon Bailey will feature this time. The 30-minute show will be on Sky Sport Bundesliga 1 first on Thursday, 23 February from 21.00 to. a tip for all Sky subscribers: Enjoy the Bailey film after the #B04YB match online at sport.sky.de.

The fitness coaches lead the way

The Bayer 04 kit supplier JAKO is supporting amateur football – and the fitness coaches of the youth teams at Kurtekotten are joining in. The German team sports supplier is planning a series of videos as part of their campaign ‘Comeback 2021: We’ll get you fit’ where professional coaches introduce drills for amateur players. This week, five short episodes were filmed at the BayArena with the Leverkusen coaches Maurice Mülder and Tim Riedel. The subjects cover the basics of stamina through stabilisation to coordination and speed. The exercise videos will be available on JAKO social media channels in the coming days and weeks.

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Adler debut in top flight

A look back at the start of an impressive career: On 25 February 2007, René Adler took over as the Werkself goalkeeper in place of Jörg Butt. The Leipzig-born keeper produced such a good performance in the 1-0 away win at Schalke 04 that he remained the number one keeper from that point. Butt, the first choice up to then, moved on to Benfica at the end of the season. Adler was now the number one.

The then 22-year-old had been at Leverkusen for seven years before his league debut and he went on to make 138 Bundesliga appearances for the Werkself before moving on to Hamburg SV in 2012, and he retired in 2019 after two seasons at FSV Mainz 05.

In memory of referee Horeis

We end with some sad news: The former Bundesliga referee Udo Horeis passed away this week at the age of 76. He was in charge of 57 games in the Bundesliga from 1979 to 1986 – and a clash involving the Black and Reds attracted attention across Germany.

Horeis refereed the legendary home game for the Werkself against Bayern Munich on 7 March 1981. After Arne Larsen Ökland had scored a hat-trick against the record champions at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium, the Norwegian was awarded a fourth goal. However, the ball only hit the stanchion behind the goal. But the linesman flagged for a goal. Ökland told the referee from Hamburg about the mistake as he put the ball back on the centre spot ready to restart the game. Horeis then reversed his decision, thanked the Werkself player with a handshake and continued the game with a goal kick for FC Bayern. The game ended in a 3-0 win for the Werkself – and Horeis had made Bundesliga history.

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