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Germany: Bundesliga
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Greuther Fürth
Leverkusen
J. Willems (5)
P. Schick (8), S. Azmoun (18), Paulinho (58), E. Palacios (84)

Leitl prepared to start Ngankam against Leverkusen: "There are no other alternatives."

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

Just like last week, SpVgg Greuther Fürth head-coach Stefan Leitl's stated goal for the weekend fixture remains to avoid the official relegation confirmation mark. 

With the season winding down, however, the inevitable gradually slips out of the club's control. Fürth must face Leverkusen again after a 1-7 drubbing in the reverse fixture. 

There are personnel problems to boot after Jamie Lewling and Max Christiansen tested positive for COVID on Friday.
Stefan Leitl.
Stefan Leitl. Photo: Northside, CC BY-SA 3.0
Relegation inching ever nearer, SpVgg Greuther Fürth's main task in their final four fixtures of the Bundesliga campaign remains avoiding further humiliation. Humiliation still stares the Kleeblätter right in the face in the form of a re-match with a Leverkusen side that completely demolished them in the reverse fixture.


Fürth's charge this weekend is, of course, compounded by personnel problems. SpVgg trainer Stefan Leitl already knew that he had to do without Paul Seguin, Havard Nielsen, and Amifico Pululu due to recently incurred muscle injuries. Regular starting center-halve Maximilian Bauer must also serve a yellow-accumulator suspension.

On Friday it was revealed that two more regular starters--Jamie Leweling and Max Christiansen--would have to sit the weekend encounter out with positive COVID tests. Leitl had some good news to report in that attacker Jeremy Dudziak would once again be fit enough to feature. The coach nevertheless has just 15 outfielders available for selection.

Lewling's positive COVID begged the question as to whether on-loan Hertha striker Jessic Ngankam might get a start. While Leitl could still conceivably build a two-striker set with captain Branimir Hrgota and Dickson Abiama, Leitl basically confirmed a start for the returning prospect this round.

"He has to," Leitl answered when asked if Ngankam would enjoy the privilege of starting again, "There are no other alternatives. We hardly have any other players available. [Abiama] is the type of guy you can throw in."


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