German soccer champions Bayer Leverkusen are looking to maintain their chances of winning the treble at West Ham United. Coach Xabi Alonso's side are in a good starting position heading into the Europa League quarter-final second leg this Thursday. The Rhinelanders won the first game in front of the home crowd 2:0.

The game will be broadcast live by RTL and can also be streamed
RTL+ can be followed live. The preliminary report starts at 20:45, the start is at 21:00.

Leverkusen are still unbeaten in 43 games this season. With the championship secured as of Sunday, Bayer 04's focus is now mainly on the Europa League and the DFB Cup. Leverkusen will face 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the final on May 25.

Coach Xabi Alonso praises Granit Xhaka

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso has emphasized the importance of midfielder Granit Xhaka. “Not only on the pitch, but also in the dressing room: he is a real leader,” the Basque coach said ahead of the Europa League quarter-final meeting at West Ham United. Alonso praised Xhaka's ambition and his “hunger to not stop”.

The Swiss record player moved from FC Arsenal to Rhinelanders in the summer and has been indispensable at Leverkusen for a long time. Together with teammate Florian Wirtz, he controls the game of the German champion and sets the rhythm of Leverkusen's football.

The 31-year-old made no secret of his ambitions ahead of his performance against West Ham at the London Stadium. “When you're in the quarter-finals, the hunger is always there to win something,” Xhaka said. Bayer 04 won their first match against coach David Moyes' team 2-0 a week ago. For the second leg, Xhaka insisted: “We have to step on the gas. All the players are fit, healthy and hopefully playing a good game.

Leverkusen have not lost any of their 43 competitive games so far this season. Continuing the unbeaten streak until the end of the season is a special goal for Xhaka: “To do that would be something special. If you're this close to achieving it, let's try. We want to make it happen.”

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