Victor Boniface returns to Bayer Leverkusen squad ahead of Cup SF

Victor Boniface returns to Bayer Leverkusen squad ahead of Cup SF

Imhonlamhen Eronmhonsele

Bayer 04 Leverkusen's forward line has received a major boost as Victor Boniface gears up for a return to action after a three-month injury hiatus.

Coach Xabi Alonso confirmed Boniface's inclusion in the squad set to clash against Fortuna Dusseldorf in the German Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

Boniface, who underwent surgery for an adductor muscle injury sustained while Nigeria prepared for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in January, is ready for his comeback.

Alonso, expressing satisfaction with the team's condition, stated in a press conference, "We are in a super situation. We have no injuries and a full squad. Boni (Boniface) is also back in the squad."

Addressing queries about Boniface's potential game time, Alonso tempered expectations, indicating, "Not 90 minutes. 45 maybe not. But maybe 30. He has done a good recovery and has trained well. He has a strong mentality to come back. He can’t wait to get back."

Before his injury, Boniface was Bayer 04 Leverkusen's top man in attack, with ten goals and seven assists in the German Bundesliga.

Despite Boniface's absence, Leverkusen managed to remain in a prime position for their maiden Bundesliga title and now boast a commanding 13-point lead over perennial champions Bayern Munich with seven games remaining.

Their dominance extends beyond the league, with an impressive unbeaten streak of 39 matches across all competitions this season, securing a spot in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Alonso emphasised the team's focused approach, stating, "We have to take it one game at a time. That’s the way we have done it until now, and we will not change that."

Despite Leverkusen's remarkable run, Alonso remains grounded, acknowledging the need to maintain focus and avoid premature celebration.

"We have done a lot but have won nothing so far. We still have a lot of work to do. We have done a few things well to get here, but we should not speak too early."

As Leverkusen prepare for their German Cup semi-final clash, Alonso reiterates the importance of concentration, underscoring his message to the players, "We have to remain focused and that is the message I give my players and they know it."

In the other semi-final encounter, Saarbruecken face Kaiserslautern on Tuesday.

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