Bayer Leverkusen receive significant injury boosts ahead of Celtic meeting

By Euan Davidson

November 18, 2021

Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, who Celtic face next Thursday at the BayArena, are set to welcome back a litany of injured stars.

Leverkusen, who beat the Bhoys 4-0 at Paradise, have suffered from a patchy spell of form. They were knocked out the cup by second-tier side Karlsruhe, suffered a loss to Wolfsburg and drew with both Hertha Berlin and Köln in recent matches.

However, they’re likely to see as many as four first-team players come back into contention [Bild]. Manager Gerardo Seoane has confirmed that Florian Wirtz and Karim Bellarabi are training with the first-team, while Charles Aranguiz could return alongside Czech international Patrik Schick.

On Schick, who embarrassed former Celtic ‘keeper David Marshall at Euro 2020, Seoane said [Bild]:

“The ligaments have healed. He still had a pain, if this pain becomes less in the next few days, then he will be available.

“All of these players are still on orange, not entirely on green. Even if they play – it will still be a tightrope walk. Friday we will make the best possible decision.”

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With Celtic coming to Germany next Thursday, it’s possible that some of Bayer Leverkusen’s key men will be back in the fold for the penultimate Europa League group match.

Celtic are obviously in a better place now than they were last time. However, it’s still a scary thought.

Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic battle plan is clear regardless of injury comebacks

It was always going to be a difficult trip. While you don’t wish injury on anyone, our chances looked better with up to 4 star players missing out.

In any case though, the Celtic agenda is clear; try to take something positive from the Bayer Leverkusen game.

If we could even snatch a draw, it’d put us in an excellent position before Real Betis come to Glasgow in December.

Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

European football is secured beyond Christmas, regardless. Considering the flux at Celtic this season, that’s an achievement in itself.

Yet, it won’t be enough for Ange Postecoglou. He wants his side to take on some of Europe’s best, and Bayer Leverkusen are in that bracket.

With the likes of Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick on the comeback trail, it’ll be tricky. But it was always going to be. Especially seeing as they just walloped Real Betis 4-0 [UEFA].

Still, for this Bhoys team to improve, they need to take on the best players. It just so happens that next week, Celtic are likely to face a star-studded Bayer Leverkusen.

Read more: “That’s the message”; What St Johnstone boss is telling his players about Celtic