24.02.2021Europa League

Our next opponents: Bern and the 'match of the year'

Showdown at the BayArena. On Thursday, 25 February (kick-off: 21.00 CET), the Werkself need a win against Young Boys Bern in the Europa League second leg to progress to the next round. This knockout match has enormous significance for the Swiss team – and everybody involved is completely aware of that.

How important the return match at the BayArena is to Young Boys was evident on Sunday. In the league match against Servette, coach Gerardo Seoane rotated seven players from the side that faced the Werkself – and he said that was based on the return match. "We need a top performance against Leverkusen," said the coach at the post-match press conference. "For that, we need fresh legs and clear minds. That was the basic reason for who played today and who didn't." Jordan Siebatcheu, who scored two goals in the 4-3 win in the first leg, was not in the squad, "to avoid getting injured," said Seoane.

YB win final rehearsal

The coach was able to make the large number of changes. Bern secured a comfortable 2-0 victory. They took an early lead through an own goal by the visitors and the final scoreline was complete before half-time with a header from striker Jean-Pierre Nsame. Nsame, Bern's top goalscorer, remains suspended for the return match against the Werkself – as does central defender Mohamed Camara who was sent off in added time against Servette. That did not affect the deserved victory – and the hoped-for revenge: Young Boys suffered their only defeat of the season in the Super League in the previous match against Servette.

But now, "the focus is on Leverkusen," as striker Felix Mambimbi said straight after the game. The YB captain Fabian Lustenberger added: "We have a great chance and we want to do our best to prepare for that."

Young Boys need a draw to go through and to improve their record in Germany. The Swiss team have only won one of their eleven games there but that does include five draws. Number six would put them in the Round of 16 – and that would be the best performance in this competition at the eighth attempt. The former Hertha player Lustenberger declared: "We have the game of the year ahead of us on Thursday."


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