Young Boys VS Bayer Leverkusen, Bayer Leverkusen can record an away win

Match Time:2/19/2021 01:55 Friday  (GMT+8)

UEFA Europa League --  Young Boys   VS   Bayer Leverkusen

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Young Boys take on Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 knockout-stage tie at Stadion Wankdorf in Bern on Thursday evening.

Leverkusen progressed as winners of Group C, with their forthcoming Swiss opponents finishing second in Group A.

 

Match preview

After Basel won eight consecutive Swiss titles between 2009 and 2017, Young Boys have re-established themselves as Switzerland's dominant club in recent years. Indeed, Gerardo Seoane's side are on course for a fourth successive Swiss Super League as they sit 16 points clear of their rivals at the top of the table.

The Swiss champions have made the next step in European football in recent years, too, famously beating Juventus when competing in the Champions League group stage for the first time in the club's history in the 2018-19 campaign.

Having finished second behind Roma in Group A of the Europa League this season, Thursday evening's knockout clash against Leverkusen will be Young Boys' first European knockout tie since losing both legs to Everton at this stage of the 2014-15 Europa League campaign.

While Seoane's side will understandably enter their tie against Leverkusen as huge underdogs, there is little doubt that the club is in a stronger position both on and off the pitch than when they were defeated by Everton seven years ago.

Leverkusen, of course, are much bigger fish in Europe, having won this competition in 1988 and reached the Champions League final in 2002.

Peter Bosz's side were knocked out of this competition by eventual finalists Inter Milan at the quarter-final stage last season, too, so they will be hoping they can go all of the way this time around.

Based on their form this season, one would have to give them a much better chance of doing so, having won five of six group stage games to comfortably top Group C and competed at the top of the Bundesliga for much of the season.

However, there has been a slight dip in results since the turn of the year, which has led them to drop out of the Champions League qualification places, making this trophy all the more appealing given that winning it guarantees a spot in Europe's primary competition next season.

 

Young Boys Europa League form: LDWWLW

Young Boys form (all competitions): DWWWWW

Bayer Leverkusen Europa League form: WLWWWW

Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions): WLLLWD

 

Team News

Young Boys' top goalscorer Jean-Pierre Nsame, who notched four goals in the group stages, and Mohamed Camara are suspended after their dismissals in the group stage.

Christopher Martins Pereira, Vincent Sierro and Esteban Petignat could all miss out through injury.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, are likely to travel to Bern without Karim Bellarabi, Mitchell Weiser, Lars Bender, Julian Baumgartlinger, Santiago Arias and Paulinho due to injury.

Bosz must choose whether to select Lucas Alario or Patrik Schick to lead the attack, with Leon Bailey and Moussa Diaby likely to flank whichever striker is preferred.

 

Young Boys possible starting lineup:

Von Ballmoos; Hefti, Lustenberger, Zesiger, Lefort; Fassnacht, Lauper, Aebischer, Ngamaleu; Mambimbi, Elia

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:

Hradecky; Fosu-Mensah, Tah, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven; Demirbay, Aranguiz, Wirtz; Bailey, Alario, Diaby

 

Young Boys 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen

 

Young Boys VS Bayer Leverkusen, Bayer Leverkusen can record an away win

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