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Bayer Leverkusen manager Gerardo Seoane predicts tougher test at home to Celtic

Celtic v Leverkusen – UEFA Europa League – Group G – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Bayer Leverkusen manager Gerardo Seoane expects a stronger test at home to Celtic on Thursday than the one they encountered in Glasgow almost two months ago.

The Germans won 4-0 at Celtic Park at the end of September on matchday two of the Europa League group phase.

However, Ange Postecoglou’s side have since won eight of their last nine games in all competitions and have hauled themselves back into contention for qualifying for the knockout phase.

“We earned that victory (at Celtic Park),” said Seoane. “We were effective in converting chances and were decisive in challenges. However, there wasn’t a four-goal difference in that match.

“Celtic have recently achieved a number of positive results and have established their match philosophy. They have good variability in their game. Compared to the first leg in Glasgow, they are now in a better rhythm.”

Leverkusen have recently returned to form after going five games without a win following their victory at Celtic Park.

Despite keeping a clean sheet in Glasgow, Seoane believes his team will have to be more secure defensively in order to stop Celtic’s attackers finding a way to goal.

The coach said: “We need a good collective performance in the defensive area. We have to allow less than we did last time. We want to control the game with possession and take advantage of our chances.”

Leverkusen will finish top of Group G if they beat Celtic. In a tweak to this season’s tournament, all eight section winners will jump past the last 32 and directly into the last 16.

Seoane said: “The new regulation naturally provides additional motivation and excitement. Given our starting position, we want to further secure where we stand. But we’re focusing on tomorrow’s game, not on all of the possible scenarios that could occur.”