'Still too early' for Leverkusen title talk says Alonso

football05 April 2024 11:56| © AFP
article image
Edmond Tapsoba and Xabi Alonso © Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso insisted Friday it was "still too early" to talk about the Bundesliga title despite his team being 13 points clear at the top of the table.

Leverkusen can win their first ever Bundesliga title as early as next week, depending on the results of second-placed reigning champions Bayern Munich.

"In football anything can happen," Alonso told reporters, saying "it's still too early."

"We are in a very good position. But we're not talking about the title, we're talking about the next opponent."

Leverkusen play away at Union Berlin on Saturday at the same time as Bayern travel to mid-table Heidenheim.

Alonso's side are closing in on glory in an incredible season, having also qualified for the German Cup final with a 4-0 home win over Fortuna Duesseldorf on Wednesday, which extended their unbeaten run to 40 games this season.

The Spaniard, who last week said he intended to stay at Leverkusen next season despite interest from Liverpool and Bayern Munich, said not only were the players focused on the next game, but the fans were not getting ahead of themselves with a potential treble in sight.

In 2002, Leverkusen were ahead in the league and had qualified for the finals of the German Cup and Champions League but lost out on all three titles.

"The fans are intelligent, and they can remember what happened in the past. They've got patience.

"We want to celebrate when we can celebrate. And now it is not the moment to celebrate, it's the moment to work and to prepare."

Alonso said striker Victor Boniface, who returned from injury to play for the first time in 2024 against Duesseldorf on Wednesday, would not start on Saturday.

"He could start, but we've decided not to play him from the beginning.

"It was good for him to play 25 or so minutes on Wednesday. We want to help him to come back properly and to feel good.

"We need him."