Prague (AP) – Only six goals, now without six: After the dream start in the Europa League 6-2 against Nice, Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen started the first departure of the league to Prague with a strong replacement.
The failures of Paulinho (cruciate ligament rupture), Santiago Arias (fibular fracture), Patrik Schick, Charles Aranguiz (both muscle injuries), Lars Bender (neck problems), and Ezequiel Palacios (ill) provide probationary opportunities for some recently barely used stars.
So for national defender Jonathan Tah (24), who played 41 of 630 competitive minutes. Or the 32 million men Kerem Demirbay (27), who has not been in the DFB team for three years, who was not used for a minute in the last two games. Or for ex-national player Karim Bellarabi (30), who only came off the bench in the last three games, but scored twice as a joker against Nice.
Despite the failures, coach Peter Bosz announced on Monday that he wanted to exchange more than one position for the 3-1 win over FC Augsburg. This goes without saying as the failures of Bender and Palacios already result in two changes, but Bosz will certainly make more. Central defenders Sven Bender or Edmond Tapsoba and attacking player Moussa Diaby, who recently started playing from the start, could get breaks. The coach does not want to complain about the tax. “We wanted to play internationally, then you have English weeks”, said Bosz: “It is clear that it will be especially tough this year. But I am glad we are there.”
Despite their surprising 1: 3 opening defeat at Hapoel Beer’Sheva in Israel, the Leverkusen team does not want to underestimate their opponents. “It is a team that works hard, is compact, but also plays football”, says Bosz. Borussia Dortmund felt how uncomfortable Slavia can be last year, who won the Champions League twice (2: 0, 2: 1).