Leverkusen and ex-Roma striker Schick seeks revenge in Italy semi

Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Patrick Schick in action durin his team's training camp in Zell Am See. Tim Rehbein/dpa
Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Patrick Schick in action durin his team's training camp in Zell Am See. Tim Rehbein/dpa

Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrick Schick openly admitted that revenge is on his mind ahead of Thursday's Europa League semi-final first leg at his former club Roma, a repeat of last season's last-four pairing.

Roma beat Leverkusen this time last season but the Germans are a different outfit now, having gone the whole season unbeaten and lifted their first ever Bundesliga title.

"All the players and everyone at the club remember how we played last year," the giant Czech, who was injured for last season's semi, told a news conference.

"Of course we all want to give them that feeling back. We deserved to progress last year. Now we all want revenge."

Leverkusen players were angry at the Romans' sometimes excessive timewasting in the 0-0 draw in the second leg last season, as they progressed 1-0 on aggregate.

Coach Xabi Alonso said last year's game "caused pain that lasted a while. But we used that pain throughout the competition. Now we have a second chance."

The second leg is in Germany next Thursday, with the winners facing Marseille or Atalanta in the final on May 22 in Dublin.

Before leaving for Rome, Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes called on his players to keep a clear head, but he doesn't want them to surpress all of their emotions.

"Overdoing it is never good. You can only dominate if you play with your head and aren't just driven by emotions," Rolfes told reporters.

"But emotions are part of it and are also a driving force. We definitely have that. That's why we're all looking forward to going to Rome," he added.

"We drew energy and motivation from last year's semi-final, from that disappointment. For this competition, but also for success in the Bundesliga."

Leverkusen are unbeaten in all of their 46 matches this season and could complete an unprecedented club treble. They already claimed a maiden Bundesliga title and are favourites to win the German Cup final on May 25 against second tier Kaiserslautern.

"The chance to win the treble means everything to everyone at the club," Rolfes stressed.

Roma coach Daniele De Rossi said the newly crowned Bundesliga champions would be very tough opponents.

"There's a lot to fear with the way they play and their long unbeaten streak. I respect their coach a lot. They have been working under the same coach for longer (than us). One thing really impressive is that they are undefeated despite often going behind," he said.

De Rossi hopes striker Romelu Lukaku can shrug off a knock to play.

"He has very little training in his legs but he hasn't been out that long. We'll take another day to evaluate him. He seems fit enough, maybe we'll push him a little more and then decide. I still have some doubts."