Bayer 04 will start their restructured Europa League against Ferencvaros Budapest on Thursday. The changed mode makes place 1 in the group much more attractive – and makes the necessary rotation more difficult.
How many changes makes sense? Gerado Seoane.
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If he wanted, Gerado Seoane could really spin the big wheel. Because the staff just let it go. His squad, which is also strong across the board, theoretically offers the possibility of nominating a completely new starting XI against Ferencvaros on Thursday.
“You could change 8, 9, 10 players and you would still have the feeling that there is a Bundesliga team on the field that claims to play many, many games well,” explains Leverkusen’s coach, “the question is: how do many changes make sense? ”
Since the Hungarians are supposedly the weakest opponent in Group G, the probability is high that the Swiss will make some changes. Conversely, a good start to the group stage is extremely important.
Tah will begin
All the more so, since from this season the respective first place finishers will move directly into the round of 16 – and not, as still the second place finishers have to compete in the intermediate round, in which a duel with one of the group thirds from the Champions League threatens.
On the other hand, this new mode, which increases the attractiveness of the competition, which is already sportingly upgraded due to the smaller field of participants, makes it more difficult to rotate the options. After all, place 1 has gained tremendously in value.
Maneuvering in terms of personnel has become more demanding. And so Seoane denied almost any clear statement about his starting XI on Wednesday. Only that defense chief Jonathan Tah, who sat next to him on the podium, starts, “betrayed” the coach.
“The aim of my answer: to give no trace”
However, he left open who would play alongside the most experienced central defender at the age of 25. It would be obvious if new signing Piero Hincapie (19), signed for 6.4 million euros by CA Talleres from Cordoba, would make his debut. But Seoane skilfully dribbled through the question-and-answer game until he admitted his game of hide-and-seek after the third question about the left footer.
“That was the aim of my answer: to give no trace. I think I did it well,” he said with a smile, before continuing his slalom run straight away: “Piero is on the line-up, he has a chance to play from the start “Chances of getting in. But I’m not going to reveal it yet.” Only his postscript was to some extent useful as an indication: “We want to see him live on the pitch as soon as possible, not just with the national team.”
For Ecuador, the central defender was regularly in the starting line-up both at the Copa and in the most recent release phase. In the next few weeks, there is hardly a more favorable opportunity than against Ferencvaros to give Hincapie a practical test.
Second row players scratch their hooves
A total of four to five changes in the starting lineup would not be a surprise. Finally, in addition to Hincapie, actors like Lucas Alario, Daley Sinkgraven, Nadiem Amiri, Karim Bellarabi and Amine Adli are scratching their feet.
However, Seoane has sworn its professionals, who have so far rarely been used, not to give up. “Today I tried again to convey to the team that every player will be very important to us because there will only be English or short weeks until Christmas,” said the 42-year-old.
Due to the strain, Leverkusen’s coach is not yet forced to rotate as much as possible. For the mood of the reservists, however, an optimal rotation would be valuable.