Barbarez gets the nod
By Sam Hez
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sergei Barbarez is set to spearhead Bayer Leverkusen's attack against Lens.
Sergei Barbarez is set to spearhead Bayer Leverkusen's attack in Wednesday's Uefa Cup clash against Lens.
The former Bosnia international has been given the nod by coach Michael Skibbe as his side look to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit from their trip to France last week.
Skibbe feels the 35-year-old striker's experience will be crucial as Leverkusen bid to clinch a place in the quarter-finals.
"Sergei gets the backing he deserves. I don't event think about questioning his qualities," said Skibbe.
Andrei Voronin or 23-year-old Stefan Kiessling will partner Barbarez in attack at the BayArena.
Skipper Carsten Ramelow, who missed Sunday's goalless draw at Hamburg with knee problems, is expected to be fit to play.
"I am looking forward to a big European night. With the backing of our fans we should be able to get past Lens," added Skibbe.
But the Leverkusen boss will have to fill the void left by the loss of Karim Haggui after the Tunisian defender was sent-off in the first-leg.
With Brazilian Roque Junior still not fit, Jan Callsen-Bracker looks set to take Haggui's place in the heart of the defence.