24.11.2021Europa League

News in brief: ‘Guard of honour’ for the skipper – injury situation eases

Good news from the training ground: In the build-up to the Europa League home game against Celtic on Thursday, 25 November (kick-off: 18.45 CET/stadium opens: 16.45 CET), several of the recently injured players have been involved in full training. Also in Wednesday’s news in brief: statements from the Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou plus an update on the Europa League ban for Kerem Demirbay.

A total of 25 players took part in the final pre-match training session on Wednesday morning ahead of the first chance to win the Europa League group. Charles Aránguiz, Lucas Alario, Patrik Schick and Karim Bellarabi were all involved at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium after missing recent matches.



The only players missing were the injured Julian Baumgartlinger and Mitchel Bakker plus Kerem Demirbay, who is unable to play on Thursday due to a red card in the last Europa League match against Real Betis (4-0). The playmaker, who suffered a blow to his ribs at the weekend in the 1-0 win against VfL Bochum, completed a rehab session at the gym at the BayArena.

congratulations for the captain

Agenda item number one on the pitch at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium was the obligatory birthday greeting for Lukas Hradecky. The 32-year-old Werkself captain was welcomed by a ‘guard of honour’ of his teammates. Then the players in white went on to complete a warm-up routine with fitness coach Bob Schoos before working with the ball.

Demirbay ban

Kerem Demirbay was shown a red card in the final minutes of the fourth group match against Real Betis at the start of November. There is talk of the midfielder having to serve a three-match ban in the Europa League. Bayer 04 are in contact with UEFA and are looking to achieve a reduction in the suspension. As stated, Demirbay will definitely miss the game against Celtic.

Celtic Coach: Werkself "A Champions League Team"

The Celtic group land in Germany in the early evening on Wednesday and head straight to the team hotel; the final pre-match training session and press conference for Joe Hart and Co. were held in Scotland.



Coach Ange Postecoglou praised the quality of the Werkself on Wednesday. “They are a good team who who have hit form in the league. We know what they can do and what we will face. They are a Champions League team,” said the Celtic boss.

Double congratulations

Lukas Hradecky celebrated his 32nd birthday one day ahead of the Europa League clash. The Werkself goalkeeper and captain of the Werkself signed for Bayer 04 from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2018. The Finn has made 107 Bundesliga appearances for the Black and Reds to date and he became captain of the team this season. Many happy returns, Lukas!

The former Leverkusen assistant coach Hendrik ‘Hendrie’ Krüzen celebrates his 57th birthday today (Wednesday). The Dutchman joined Bayer 04 with former Werkself head coach Peter Bosz just before Christmas 2018 and was in the Black and Red dugout for 108 games. The Dutch coaches ended their time at Leverkusen in March of this year and Krüzen and Co. are now at the top French club Lyon. Happy birthday, Hendrie.

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