Following their narrow 1-0 victory against Hamburger SV in the Bundesliga, Leverkusen host Spanish side, Villarreal at the BayArena. The German side will have to overcome a two goal deficit at home in order to progress into the quarter finals.
Villarreal are coming into the game on the back of a heavy 4-2 defeat to fellow Spanish side, Sevilla. This came as Villarreal’s first defeat in an impressive nine game unbeaten run in all competitions.
A key player for the ‘Werkself’ will be, Julian Brandt, the youngster played an incredible game at the weekend against Hamburg, playing a crucial part in the winning goal. The German prospect will be looking to improve on his previous outing, and play a vital part in Leverkusen’s European campaign.
Another man who was in inspired form against Hamburg was Bernd Leno. The highly touted German shot-stopper made many crucial saves against HSV, leading to him picking up the man of the match award. If Bayer are to progress to the next stage of the Europa League, a clean sheet will have to be kept if they want to face any chance of succeeding.
A player to keep your eye on in the Villarreal side is Congolese International, Cedric Bakumbu. In the first leg against Leverkusen, the frontman netted both of Villarreal’s goals, taking his seasons tally up to 16 goals in all competitions.
Lastly, in order for the 'Yellow Submarine' to defend their two goal lead, it will take an inspired performance from their captain, Bruno. The highly rated midfielder will be key to any sort of result, with him likely to match up with players like, Hakan Calhanoglu, Brandt and Karim Bellarabi throughout the game.
‘Die Werkself’ will be without Tin Jedvaj after his late red card against Villarreal last time out. Leverkusen will also be without: Omer Toprak, who picked up another injury. This time against HSV, during a challenge with Pierre-Michel Lasogga. Roberto Hilbert, Lars Bender, Sebastian Boenisch and Kevin Kampl are all set to miss the game, nursing long-term injuries. Christoph Kramer is a doubt after he was knocked on conscious during the first leg against Villarreal.
Villarreal on the other hand do not have as many injuries to worry about, out for the 'Yellow Submarine' is, Jonathan dos Santos who will miss the game along with winger Samuel. As well as their rock at the back, Mateo Musachhio, who is still a doubt for the match following his fitness problems.