Manuel Veth –
Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid – Wednesday, November 6, 20:00GMT/21:00CET – BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany
Three games, three defeats, Bayer Leverkusen, are not only on the brink of elimination from the Champions League but from European competitions in general. “We want to reach the Europa League,” Kevin Volland said.
“We have to see that we win the game, and at least prevent another loss,” Volland added. “We have to be courageous against Atlético,” Volland said.
One player that could help with a more courageous performance could be midfielder Charles Aranguiz. The Chilean central midfielder should be able to return against Atlético. “To be honest, I only talk about the team in general because a team is more than one or two players,” Peter Bosz said this week. “But, you can see that we have more structure with Aranguiz.”
Structure that has been lacking in recent weeks in Leverkusen’s play. Balance between defence and attack has been Bosz’s biggest problem throughout his career. At times, his football is spectacular, but at the same time, it is difficult to sustain consistent success with wide-open football.
This has been evident in the Champions League, in particular, where Bayer has been punished for their reckless play. Teams like Atlético, Juventus, and even Lokomotiv have a more measured approach that works well against Leverkusen.
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That will favour Atl,ético, who have struggled to play attractive football this season. Atlético have scored just 12 goals in 12 La Liga games this season and were booed for their performance in the first leg against Leverkusen.
“I know what we have to do,” Simeone said after his 300th La Liga game in charge this weekend against Sevilla. Atlético drew that game 1-1 and remain part of the top group in Spain. It was a minimalist performance, the sort of performance that could be dangerous for Leverkusen.
Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid – Players to look out for:
Kai Havertz #29 – Leverkusen
Everybody wants to know where Kai Havertz will go next season. But for Leverkusen fans have other concerns at the moment. Havertz, without a doubt is a big talent, but he has not shown the form from last season this year. For Havertz, the absence of his cogenial partner Julian Brandt has been, in particular, noticeable. Just three goals and one assist in 14 games is somewhat disappointing and Havertz will have to pick up his game quickly for Leverkusen to find any success this season.
Álvaro Morata #9 – Atlético Madrid
Álvaro Morata scored the only goal in the first leg between the two sides. Morata struggled when he first joined Atlético but has now scored in four of the last five games, including the goal against Sevilla. “I would have rather won the game then scored,” Morata said after the game against Sevilla. The striker is a team player and despite Madrid’s goalscoring problems in strong form.
Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid – Match Stats
- The Werkself have drawn seven of their last 13 European home games (W4 L2).
- In the UEFA Champions League, Leverkusen have won only one of their last seven matches at the BayArena (D4 L2).
- Leverkusen’s last visit from a Liga club was that 4-2 defeat by Atlético in 2017, a result that ended a four-match unbeaten home record against Spanish clubs (W2 D2).
- Home and away, their 2015 success against Atlético is their only win in their last eight matches with Liga opposition (D3 L4).
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid – 1-2
Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid – Lineups
Hradecky – Wendell, S. Bender, Tah, Weiser – Demirbay, Aranguiz – Volland, Havertz, Bellarabi – Alario
Head Coach: Peter Bosz
Oblak – Renan Lodi, Hermoso, Felipe, Trippier – Saul Niguez, Thomas – Correa, Koke – Diego Costa, Morata
Head Coach: Diego Simeone
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.