Berliner Tageblatt - Wonderkid Wirtz starts Europa League final for Leverkusen

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Wonderkid Wirtz starts Europa League final for Leverkusen
Wonderkid Wirtz starts Europa League final for Leverkusen / Photo: © AFP

Wonderkid Wirtz starts Europa League final for Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen's star forward Florian Wirtz was fit enough to start Wednesday's Europa League final as the German champions aim to cap a memorable season against Atalanta.

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Leverkusen are unbeaten in 51 games in all competitions this season and could complete a treble by winning in Dublin and in the German Cup final on Saturday.

Wirtz, who has scored 18 goals and provided 20 assists, has not started for three weeks due to a muscle injury.

However, the 21-year-old has been thrust into Xabi Alonso's starting line-up as the focal point of the Leverkusen attack with strikers Patrik Schick and Victor Boniface left on the bench.

Alonso's other big call comes in goal as Europa League regular Matej Kovar retains his place ahead of captain Lukas Hradecky.

Atalanta are without influential midfielder Marten de Roon due to injury.

The Italians are aiming to win their first trophy for 61 years, having missed out on one just a week ago to Juventus in the Coppa Italia final.

Gianluca Scamacca missed that showpiece occasion but his return is a big boost for Atalanta as the Italian international has scored 18 goals this season.

Bayer Leverkusen (3-4-3)

Matej Kovar; Piero Hincapie, Jonathan Tah, Edmond Tapsoba; Josip Stanisic, Granit Xhaka, Ezequiel Palacios, Alex Grimaldo; Jeremie Frimpong, Florian Wirtz, Amine Adli

Coach: Xabi Alonso (ESP)

Atalanta (3-4-3)

Juan Musso; Berat Djimsiti, Isak Hien, Sean Kolasinac; Davide Zappacosta, Ederson, Teun Koopmeiners, Matteo Ruggeri; Charles De Ketelaere, Gianluca Scamacca, Ademola Lookman

Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini (ITA)

Referee: Istvan Kovacs (ROM)