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Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Ferencvaros - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Ferencvaros, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bayer Leverkusen welcome Ferencvaros to the BayArena on Thursday evening for their opening Group G clash in the Europa League.

This is the first ever European encounter between the two clubs and the first trip to Germany for the visitors since November 2004.

Match preview

Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz and Moussa Diaby celebrate scoring their first goal with teammates on September 11, 2021© Reuters

Bayer Leverkusen suffered their first defeat of the new season when they were beaten 4-3 in a thrilling Bundesliga encounter at home against Borussia Dortmund last weekend.

The hosts were 2-1 in front at half time thanks to strikes from Florian Wirtz and Patrick Schick, however the visitors came from behind to secure all three points, with Erling Braut Haaland scoring the winning goal in the 77th minute from the penalty spot.

Despite that defeat, Gerardo Seoane's men have made a bright start to the new campaign, winning three and drawing one of their opening five matches across all competitions, scoring 15 goals in the process. Die Werkself also scored 14 goals on home soil in the Europa League group stage last season, so it certainly seems they will have no problems in finding the back of the net.

Leverkusen, who will be the favourites to progress from Group G as group winners, have only faced Hungarian opposition once in their history, eliminating Budapest Honved 7-0 on aggregate in the 1994-95 UEFA Cup knockout rounds.

Die Werkseelf have only lost three of their 24 group-stage matches in the Europa League and enjoyed an unbeaten 11-game home run in the competition until they lost 2-0 against Swiss outfit Young Boys in the round of 32 last season.

Ferencvaros' Miha Blazic celebrates with teammates against Molde in the Champions League playoffs on September 29, 2020© Reuters

Young Boys were in fact the same team that eliminated Ferencvaros from this season's Champions League qualifiers, with the Hungarian side losing 6-4 on aggregate last month.

After participating in Europe's elite club competition for the first time in their history last season, the Green Eagles were unable to qualify this time around and have subsequently been demoted to the Europa League for the second time in three years.

Ferencvaros last faced German opposition back in 2004, losing 2-0 to Schalke 04 in the UEFA Cup group stage. Their head coach Peter Stoger, however, will be very familiar with Thursday's opponents, having previously managed rivals FC Koln between 2013 and 2017.

Stoger only guided FC Koln to one victory at the BayArena during his tenure there, though that is still more than his current club Ferencvaros have ever managed against German teams, as they have never won a UEFA competition match in Germany.

Ferencvaros have failed to win 19 of their last 22 matches in major European competitions and will likely be up against it again on Thursday evening.

Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Ferencvaros form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Bayer Leverkusen's Patrik Schick celebrates scoring their second goal on September 11, 2021© Reuters

Bayer Leverkusen trio Julian Baumgartlinger (knee), Edmond Tapsoba (ankle) and Timothy Fosu-Mensah (knee) all remain out due to injury.

Forward Lucas Alario made his first appearance of the new season last weekend, after recovering from an injury, though the Argentine is set to start on the bench again in midweek as Czech talisman Schick is expected to lead the line.

Seoane could name the same starting lineup as the one selected against Dortmund, so the likes of Wirtz, Moussa Diaby and Paulinho could all feature once again in advanced midfield roles.

As for Ferencvaros, they will be without Tunisian midfielder Aissa Laidouni, who was sent off in their Champions League playoff second leg defeat against Young Boys.

Midfielder David Siger is another unavailable for selection, as the 30-year-old continues to recover from a ruptured knee ligament injury.

Strikers Franck Boli and Ryan Mmaee, who have scored 10 goals between them across all competitions so far this season, are expected to start up front for the visitors.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Frimpong, Kossounou, Tah, Bakker; Andrich, Demirbay; Diaby, Wirtz, Paulinho; Schick

Ferencvaros possible starting lineup:
Dibusz; Wingo, Blazic, Kovacevic, Civic; Zachariassen, Kharatin, Somalia, Uzuni; Boli, Mmaee

SM words green background

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Ferencvaros

With two attack-minded sides locking horns on Thursday night, goals are to be expected at the BayArena.

However, we can see the hosts – the clear favourites for this contest – running out as comfortable winners against their Hungarian opposition.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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