With great pleasure the Leverkusen return after their progress in the Europa League in the currently so staid league routine back. But there waiting in Leipzig, the counter-proposal of Leverkusen.
In Leverkusen they will be happy that they play in a competition called Europa League. Bayer Leverkusen beat FC Zurich 1-0 on Thursday to qualify early for the second round. They can really use their self-confidence, because the daily business is for the team of coach Heiko Herrlich currently a single ups and downs.
"It is clear that we have pent-up demand in the league," said Herrlich in the run-up to the Bundesliga match on Sunday at RB Leipzig (15:30 clock). The hoped-for effect after the furious 6: 2 at Werder Bremen two weeks ago was missing. Last Saturday, it was a 1: 4 defeat against Hoffenheim. "There is no specification as to how many points there should be until Christmas, we always think from game to game," said Herrlich. With eleven points from ten games Leverkusen is only in 13th place.
The omens that change in Leipzig, of course, are conceivably bad. Leipzig forms, if you will, the antithesis to Leverkusen. In the Europa League, RB are worried about progressing after a 2-1 defeat at Glasgow. The team of Ralf Rangnick is still in second place, but Celtic moved by the deserved victory tied to Leipzig. In the league it could hardly run better for the Leipzig: The only Bundesliga defeat of Leipzig dates from the first match against Borussia Dortmund. With only nine goalscoring Leipzig represents here the best defensive of all team. 19 points and fourth place – that's more in Leipzig than on target.
Rangnick relies on his aggressive game
The series of nine league games without defeat should be maintained as possible against Leverkusen. How this can succeed, Rangnick said unusually open. "Bayer is vulnerable in the switching game on the defensive," said the 60-year-old. At the same time warned the football teacher, of course, before the Leverkusen: "You have a great quality in the offensive area and a good pace forward."
For this tempo could also provide the last-battered Leverkusen Karim Bellarabi again. Even the long-injured Chilean Charles Aránguiz has been able to play for an hour against Zurich and is an option again. "We have to be defensively awake, defend well and then attack from the ball and conquer our aggressive game against the ball," demanded Rangnick.
He may have to do without Timo Werner. The use of the national player is questionable because of a toe injury. We have to wait and see how Werner reacts to the training, Rangnick said on Friday.