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Jonathan Tah and Co. face a crowded fixture list over the coming weeks. The opening fixture for the Black and Reds in Europe in the 2021/22 season is against Ferencváros. "There is great anticipation ahead of competing with European teams," said Gerardo Seoane a day before the clash. Leading player Tah, who the head coach said had a good chance of being in the starting eleven, added: "We want to get the best possible result in the game."
In the final pre-match training session on Wednesday morning, Seoane had a full complement of outfield players with the exception of the three long-term absentees through injury Edmond Tapsoba, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Julian Baumgartlinger. "Charly Aránguiz is also 100% available following small problems after the international break," said the Swiss boss.
The Bayer 04 head coach was not only concerned with his own team ahead of the match: In analysing the forthcoming opponents from Hungary, he is mainly focused on their attack: "They have a number of players who can pose a threat," the 42-year-old initially mentioned the former Bundesliga player Robert Mak. In Ryan Mmaee and Tokmac Nguen, Ferencváros also have two fast players with good technique and Myrto Uzuni is ready for anything on the left flank.
"They will want to make the most of their strength in transitional play. Our defenders will face the challenge of standing up to that strength," said Seoane expects a different game from the last outing against Borussia Dortmund: "It is down to us tomorrow to have more possession and to force the opponents back."
The new format will be used in the Europa League from tomorrow (Thursday). The team finishing top in the group will qualify directly for the Round of 16 and thereby avoid an additional round. "We are aware of the format of the competition. Our aim is to compete for top spot. The final positions in the table are irrelevant at the moment."
Seoane and his Werkself team face the priority of making a successful start on the European stage and to extend the winning run against Hungarian teams – in 1994 there were 2-0 and 5-0 victories against Honvéd.
Broadcasters: TVNOW and Werkself Radio
Referee: Andris Treimanis (Latvia)
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