Women: ‘Boost’ ahead of home opener against Duisburg

Following last weekend’s successful season opener at SC Freiburg, with the 2-1 winner coming in added time, the Bayer 04 Women now have the first home game on matchday two in the FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga. The team led by head coach Achim Feifel entertain MSV Duisburg at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium on Friday night (11 September, 19.15 CET) – the match is live on Free TV.

The first three points are in the bag and the Werkself women are looking to double that total on Friday night. After the away win at Freiburg, the team go into the next game with momentum. “It’s good if you win the first game straight off as it gives you a boost,” said Feifel, who refuses to get carried away: “A positive mood is good but we have to keep our feet on the ground. At the end of the day, we can’t say everything went brilliantly in the first game. We have to be realistic as some things didn’t work against Freiburg and we have to put that right.”

Duisburg started the season with a goalless draw against newly promoted SV Meppen. Last season, the MSV Women, who appointed the former Bayer 04 assistant coach Niko Schneck (2017-2018 under Heiko Herrlich) as assistant to head coach Thomas Gerstner in the summer, were a direct rival for Leverkusen in the battle to avoid relegation. MSV had the upper hand in the head-to-head games in 2019/20 winning both home and away. Feifel is also expecting Duisburg to present a tough challenge in the new season: “The opponents are almost as strong as last season. The squad has more or less stayed the same. They are tough in defence, defend well and are compact, are physical and have players who want to force the opponents into making challenges.”

The coach demands: “We have to perform to the max at our level. We have to see every game and every opponent in the Bundesliga as a big challenge as that’s the only way we’ll be able to get a result in every match.”

In terms of personnel, Bayer 04 have all but one player available from last weekend’s squad: Milena Nikolic replaces Barbara Reger. Pauline Wimmer (torn cruciate), Verena Wieder (rehab after torn cruciate), Sofie Zdebel, Joyce Prabel (both muscle injuries) and Nico Banecki (absent through illness) are also sidelined.

The match at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium will be played behind closed doors. Bayer 04 fans can follow the game from home: Eurosport is broadcasting the match live on Free TV and the encounter is on the streaming service MagentaSport.

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