Bayer Leverkusen news:
Even today if you ask any Leverkusen’s player how they lost to Monaco at the premiere, he will not be able to explain it. What can he say about that? That they lost … the sure goals and also Monaco scored in the one and only chance created?
This is certainly the true and the phenomenon of the difficulty in scoring has spread to the “aspirin.” Playing with ten players for most of the game against Freiburg, they created plenty of classic chances, but were left in a goalless draw (had two attempts at the post), unable to continue after the victory over Augsburg in the intercalary matchday in Bundesliga. The impressive start of the season had not continuity for Roger’s Schmidt players, since they have just one win in their four most recent games in the Bundesliga and in the last five officially. However, if we say that they do not play nice football it will be a lie. Just they lack effectiveness.
“The fact that last year Benfica reached the final of the Europa League is not by chance. Benfica have several players from South America who know well how to win the ball and deal with such games. We must begin to win and this has to be done instantly. The group has just six games and we have already lost one. Now we need to get the victory. Key in the match will be the way in which we will defend in the counterattacks of our opponents” these were the words of Roger Schmidt at the press conference.
Key midfielders Rolfes (captain) and Castro remain unavailable for the match. Thus the solutions in midfield are limited. Along with the above, K.Papadopoulos (Stopper) and Brandt (useful attacking midfielder) will be out. Boenisch is facing minor injury problem (basic left back), Schmidt will wait for him until the beginning of the match.
The start of the “Eagles” in the competition was very poor as after a moderate appearance, they lost at home against Zenit (2-0). Just in the 5′ Hulk who was found himself towards Artur, lost no time and opened the scoring for the Russian team while in the 18′ Benfica were left with ten players when Artur overthrew Danny. The Russians two minutes later won a corner from which Witsel who was found in an advantageous position easily scored the second goal (2-0). In the rest of the match, the “mountain” that Benfica had to climb was beyond their capabilities.
Despite all these, in the league they continued winning as last Saturday won Estoril 3-2. They started with two goals by Talisca in 3′ and in 8′, and then they relaxed until the 53′ when the score turn to a draw 2-2. The victory was given by Lima in the 70′.
Digging in the statements in terms of Benfica, the most interesting one is probably the Brazilian’s midfielder Derley, who said that although the aim is to win, draw will also be important. Jesus beyond the many that he said, he did his estimates for the group saying “for us it will be a success to qualify from the group. In football anything can happen, so we can dream without anyone to have the right to steal our dreams. The fact is that there are 4-5 strong teams that usually reach the semifinals and the final. There is also an outsider, such as Atletico Madrid last year. This is what we have in mind.”
About the game said: “a second defeat will make the situation quite complicated for us. We played against Leverkusen a few years ago and since then, they still have 6-7 players, but they have a different coach who brought new ideas, as a result they play good games in Bundesliga. It will be a tough match and we should do our best to get the win. We have the quality to do it.”
The only change from the previous match again Estoril has to do at the position of the goalkeeper, where Artur is suspended for the current match. His place was taken by Julio Cesar who was also injured in the right leg, but Jesus took three goalkeepers for this match since the international goalkeeper is not 100% ready. From there onwards, the seriously injured Amorim (midfielder, 2/0), Jara (striker, 2 app.), Fejsa (midfielder, without app.), Silvio (defender, without app.) and Sulejmani (striker, without app.) remain unavailable. Nelson Oliveira, Miguel Santos, Loris Benito, Pizzi and Bebe were left out for the match against Leverkusen because they had no appearances in the championship.
History : Bayer Leverkusen vs Benfica : The two teams have met twice before.
Europa League 21/02/2013: Benfica vs Bayer Leverkusen 2-1
Europa League 14/02/2013: Bayer Leverkusen vs Benfica 0-1