Why Celtic can forget the Bayer Leverkusen favour we were all hoping for
Bayer Leverkusen vs Celtic promises to be the most difficult challenge we’ve experienced yet this season, and the Hoops can forget the favour many of us are itching for.
Leverkusen have already qualified for the last-32. 3 wins and a draw up to this point has secured their status. Thanks to that, many will be hoping that manager Gerardo Seoane will drop some of his key players.
The likes of Florian Wirtz, Patrik Shick, and Moussa Diaby have been ripping it up in the Europa League this year. Surely, given they’ve qualified, we can pray that Seoane will decide to give one or two a rest?
Forget it. Unfortunately, Leverkusen’s failure to win away to Real Betis has ensured that they’ve yet to confirm top spot for themselves. If they were to lose to Celtic and then slip at Ferencvaros, they could still be overtaken by either Betis or ourselves.
They won’t be looking to risk anything. Celtic at home is Leverkusen’s opportunity to bag top spot and confirm their dominance over the rest of the group. Had they won in Betis, this wouldn’t have been a concern.
However, given what’s at stake here, it’s more likely that Seoane views the final game away to Ferencvaros as a chance to rest his top stars.
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There’s no incentive for Bayer Leverkusen to help Celtic out
And there is also another big concern for Celtic with regards to Leverkusen’s poor form. Whilst they’ve been running roughshod over our Europa League group, their general run of form has been a big concern for them.
They only have 1 win in their last 7 games. They’ve conceded in all but 1 of those games too. Their slip in form has led to them being knocked out of the DFB-Pokal at the second round stage and has seen them slip to 6th in the Bundesliga.
They’ll likely view the Celtic game as an opportunity to continue the rebuilding of their momentum. After they face VFL Bochum this weekend, the Hoops will be next up. It’s highly unlikely they’ll look to break their momentum by throwing European points away.
You then have the fact that they’re still unbeaten in Europe too. They’ll want to keep that run going for as long as possible. Slipping up to Celtic will only pile more questions on the squad and manager Seoane.
So from a Celtic perspective it’s pretty clear – Leverkusen will be at their strongest. Whilst they do have a hefty injury list to contend with, they won’t be taking things lightly next week.
Any hope that will be the case is unfortunately going to be proven wide of the mark.