Kampl targeting Champions League

Leverkusen midfielder Kevin Kampl says the club wants a place in next season’s Champions League, but admits they have a long way to go.

Leverkusen are currently fourth in the Bundesliga standings, which would earn them a spot in Europe’s elite club competition, after an impressive first half of the season.

However, there is still a long way to go for them to finish in that position, starting with a tough run of games over the next few weeks, and Kampl admits it’s important for them not to get ahead of themselves.

“Our aim is to qualify for the Champions League and that would mean finishing third or fourth. We’re heading in the right direction and after picking up a point in what was not an easy game in Hoffenheim, we’ve now won,” he told the Bundesliga website.

“We’ve got some tough games coming up, though. First with Bayern [Munich], then at Darmstadt, where it’s not going to be easy, and after that we’ve got Dortmund. We host Werder Bremen in the DFB Cup and then Sporting Lisbon [in the Europa League]. These are all difficult matches.

“That’s why it’s important that we’ve started the second half of the season successfully. It’s likely to be another battle to the very end for a place in Europe. A lot of clubs, including us, have dropped points unexpectedly.”

Bayern M√ľnchen, who Leverkusen face this weekend, have been hit with a series of injuries and a short of defenders going into the second half of the campaign.

They have, so far, looked far less dominating than they did in the first half of the season, but Kampl is not taking anything for granted and knows they face a tough test on Saturday.

“We’re at home and obviously, we will be trying to win the game and not just play for a draw. We also know how extremely difficult it will be,” he added.

“We need to have a perfect day to beat Bayern. It doesn’t matter who they have out injured, they have two or three players for every position.

“I’m sure we’ll get our chances, and if we take them better than we did against Hannover, then, of course, we can beat Bayern.”