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Nurnberg v Bayer Leverkusen: Preview

If Nurnberg's players display the same anger as their coach Gertjan Verbeek when they face Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday, the chances of them getting the points they need to ease their relegation worries are high.

Verbeek was furious on Friday when he learned he had been fined 5,000 euros for suggesting his side had ``played against 12 men'' in their recent Bundesliga defeat to Freiburg.

He was ``referring to Freiburg coach Christian Streich'' and not the referee.

``I've got to be careful about what I say, but I think it's disgraceful,'' Verbeek said. ``What does an ordinary citizen have to do to be fined 5,000 euros?

``If you drive at 250kmh in a 120 zone, you just get a few 100 euros, and you can kill somebody there.

``If the DFB (German Football Association) thinks I am being unsporting and punish me for it, then they should send me to a sports school to hold a lecture or to work with an amateur or youth team and that would be fair, but a fine?''

With just one win in their last eight matches, and seven defeats in that period, it is clear to see why Verbeek was so angry with salt being rubbed into his gaping wounds.

Avoiding relegation has been likened to Nurnberg's biggest achievement of the last decade - winning the DFB-Pokal in 2007.

``It would almost be comparable,'' said the club's director of sport Martin Bader. ``The chance to salvage this bewitched season, in which everything has been going against us, must be a huge motivation for us.''

Leverkusen also have some salvaging to do having seen their grasp on a Champions League place loosen over recent months.

They did manage to climb back up to fourth in the table on Sascha Lewandowski's debut in charge last weekend, but with Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach breathing down their necks, that is one race which is likely to go right down to the wire.

``We're all hugely relieved after beating Hertha 2-1, but we're now going to have to do it all over again in Nuremberg and be aggressive in the tackles,'' captain Simon Rolfes told his club's official website.

``They have their backs to the wall, and that makes them so dangerous.''

Philipp Wollscheid misses out with an ankle injury while Sidney Sam, who moves to Schalke next season, continues to be plagued by muscular problems.

Markus Feulner is a doubt for the home team with a thigh strain threatening to rule the former Bayern Munich midfielder out.

ends

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