Notes from Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen press conference ahead of tie against Union Berlin

Ahead of Bayer Leverkusen’s game against Union Berlin, Xabi Alonso provided an update on any injury concerns in the squad and looked ahead to the game against Union itself.

The biggest news coming out of the press conference is that Victor Boniface is not fit enough to start the game despite making his first appearance of the year against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Wednesday.

Apart from the Nigerian, Alonso will have a fully fit squad at his disposal against Union. This will allow the Spaniard to make several changes with a big Europa League tie on Thursday against West Ham. The biggest dilemma will be Alonso’s choice in midfield whether he chooses Robert Andrich or the now-fit Exequiel Palacios in midfield next to Granit Xhaka. 

Bayern Munich’s 2-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund last weekend also meant that Leverkusen went 13 points clear at the top of the table meaning they only need nine points from seven games to win the league, but Alonso calls for patience and avoid complacency: “Our fans are intelligent and patient. Obviously, we all want to celebrate something big together at the end, but the moment hasn’t come yet. It’s still too early. First, we need to do our job in Berlin.”

Alonso also gave his thoughts on his opponents who currently sit 12th in the Bundesliga and lost 4-0 last time out, a result that resulted in Urs Fischer departing the club. On Leverkusen’s opponent, Alonso said: “Obviously the coach and some players are new, but they follow the same ideas of playing. They’re a physically strong and very aggressive team who also play looking to combine. We have to be ready for perhaps not the prettiest game. It’s important to get a good result.”

GGFN | Jack Meenan


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