There will be an important first league in the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday for Bayer Leverkusen, as they welcome Ferencvaros to BayArena. The Europa League could be crucial for the Bundesliga side this term, as it could present their only route back into the Champions League.
Europa League Preview
It may have taken almost half of the season, but Bayer Leverkusen finally look to be a team that has finally found their groove. The Bundesliga side comes into this fixture having gone three without a defeat in all competitions, and they certainly could have built confidence following their dramatic win over Monaco in the previous round of the competition. Leverkusen appeared to be heading out of the competition at the half way stage, as they trailed Monaco after defeat in their opening game.
However, they battled back excellently in France in the second leg, and found themselves 3-1 ahead with half an hour left to play. Goals from Florian Wirtz, Exequiel Palacios, and Amine Adil put them on the verge of the next round, before Monaco scored a late equaliser in the tie to force extra time. However, Leverkusen held their nerve from the penalty spot to reach the next round.
There was no need for a playoff tie for Ferencvaros, as they finished top of their Group H campaign before Christmas. Ironically, the team that they beat to top spot in late 2022 was Monaco, who fell to Leverkusen in the previous round of the competition. Ferencvaros won three of their six games in the Europa League before the turn of the year, registering home wins against Trabzonspor and Red Star Belgrade.
However, they are winless away from home in their previous two European fixtures, with their only success on the road in the competition this term coming against Monaco in September.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Ferencvaros Head to Head
This will be the third time that these two sides have clashed. Each of the previous two meetings have ended in wins for the team playing at home. Meanwhile, Leverkusen’s only defeat in four previous matches against Hungarian opposition was a 1-0 away loss against Ferencvaros.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Ferencvaros Prediction
This could be a very interesting showdown in the Europa League this week, with both sides holding very obvious claims to reach the next round. However, we will be siding with the home advantage boasted by Leverkusen, and we could see the German giants taking a 2-0 advantage into the second leg.
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