Bayer Leverkusen have some real issues after another unconvincing display pre-Celtic

By David Walton

November 21, 2021

Bayer Leverkusen haven’t done much to boost their morale levels ahead of their game against Celtic after a narrow 1-0 win over VFL Bochum yesterday.

Bayer had been on a dismal run before the international break in which they only managed 1 win in 7 games. However, they returned to Bundesliga action against 13th placed Bochum and took the spoils on their own turf.

A 3rd-minute goal from Amine Adli secured the points and took them up to 4th. However, it was hardly a dominant performance from Gerardo Seoane’s men. Bochum managed to rack up an incredible 21 shots with 15 from open play [WhoScored].

Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

And it’s clear post-match that the Leverkusen camp weren’t pleased with the display either. Centre-back Jonathan Tah said the following via the club’s official website: “We’re happy to have picked up three points in the end. But we can’t be satisfied with the way we won this game. We were not decisive enough and it could have gone the other way.”

This was echoed by manager Seoane, who said the following: “For me, it was too open an encounter. We didn’t handle certain situations well and didn’t close down space. But in the end we had the better scoring chances and I believe we were the deserving winners.

“Today, it was the expected difficult match against opponents who have recently picked up good results. Bochum made it difficult for us today so it’s hats off to my team.”

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Celtic facing Bayer Leverkusen at the ideal time

This will never not be a tough fixture. It’s important to remember that Leverkusen managed to turn us over 4-0 at Celtic Park. They’re packed with quality and even nabbing a point in Germany would be a sensational result for Ange Postecoglou.

However, it also has to be said that Celtic are facing the Germans at the best time possible. There are simply no signs that Bayer are on the verge of turning their slump around. Not to mention the fact that they could be missing 4 players for the visit of Celtic in Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Mitchel Bakker, Lucas Alario, and Julian Baumgartlinger respectively [Daily Record].

If Celtic were looking for Bayer to have issues heading into Thursday night, we couldn’t have asked for a better scenario.

Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Of course, we also can’t ignore their European form this season. Leverkusen have won 3 of their 4 group stage games, scoring 11 goals in the process. They’ve found the continent to be a release from their domestic struggles.

But even so, both Ferencvaros and Real Betis have netted against the German side in the competition. They’ve shown their weaknesses, and Leverkusen’s struggles, particularly at home, will hopefully allow Celtic to bag some more optimism.

It’s going to be an interesting game on Thursday night, and one that will play a big role in determining whether we’ll be playing in the Europa or Conference League after Christmas. The opportunity is there for Celtic, we just need to go and take it.

In other news, Jota absolutely loving “terrific” Celtic spell; asked about his future in BBC interview