Leverkusen. On Saturday, the Werkself received Frankfurt’s 12th place in the table and Mitchell Weiser was in the starting XI. The first leg was a debacle for the 25-year-old: he was replaced after 30 terribly weak minutes.
October 18, 2019 is not a reason that the Werkself likes to remember. The visit to Eintracht Frankfurt was clearly lost, after 20 minutes Bayer was already two goals behind. Mitchell Weiser had a particularly black day. The 25-year-old was hopelessly overwhelmed on the right wing. Coach Peter Bosz reacted with a kind of maximum penalty for a Bundesliga professional: after only 30 minutes, he replaced Weiser. It did not change the defeat, a 0: 3 flickered at the final whistle over the video wall in the Frankfurt arena.
Of course, Weiser was not to blame for this alone, but with his desolate appearance he undoubtedly had a substantial share in the second-highest defeat this season after the 0: 4 in Dortmund. On Saturday (3:30 p.m.) he sees again the player who played him dizzy at the time: Filip Kostic. Because Bosz runs out of options for the right side after injuries to Lars Bender (hip bruise) and Nadiem Amiri (capsular rupture of the shoulder corner joint), Weiser will get his second chance against Frankfurt. “Mitch will play,” emphasizes Bosz. The bankruptcy in Frankfurt was ticked off. “It doesn’t bother him at all,” the coach describes the attitude of his protege.
Two teams meet in the BayArena, which are tied in two out of three competitions. Both Bayer and Eintracht are in the semi-finals of the DFB Cup and the round of 16 of the Europa League. Only in the league are the ways clearly separated: Leverkusen in fifth place has 16 points more than Frankfurt. “They do great in the trophies, but they have a hard time in the Bundesliga,” says Bosz. “Nevertheless, they are a good team and we will see that on Saturday.”
Similar to the week in the cup against Union Berlin, the Dutchman wants to let the ball and opponents run. “Football always begins with passion and the willingness to run a lot and sprint a lot.” Only then would football skills become a factor. “First you have to stand up fully – and then the quality that we have in the team comes into its own.” If Bayer lets the ball circulate and keeps the opponent in motion, it will be worthwhile in the further course of the game. “You often see that we end up scoring goals.”
The statistics prove him right. Bayer has already decided many games this season in the last 15 to 20 minutes – against Schalke, in Mainz, against Dortmund and twice against Union in the second half and cup. The team benefits from the fact that they are in top shape and at the same time have the necessary freshness in their heads and legs to put a shovel in the final stages of tight games.
In 2020, Bayer already had six home games across all competitions – with six wins. The seventh prank will be announced on Saturday at 5.15 p.m. Since the Borussians from Dortmund and MOnchengladbach placed in front of Leverkusen take the points from each other in the top game, Bayer could put even greater pressure on the top group through their next success in their own stadium.
A Mitchell Weiser in top form would be a good prerequisite for this.
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