Bremen - Christoph Kramer has praised Bayer 04 Leverkusen's solid start to the season and believes Saturday's 3-0 at SV Werder Bremen means they can now face FC Barcelona with confidence.

Leverkusen will head to the Camp Nou on Tuesday for the second of their UEFA Champions League group stage encounters. The injury-enforced absence of the hosts’ Lionel Messi is an unexpected boost, but Kramer told media that the victory at the Weser-Stadion, which took Roger Schmidt’s men into fifth place in the Bundesliga table, has further fuelled the Bayer squad's confidence.

Question: Christoph Kramer, this was a clear 3-0 win for your team at Werder. What did you make of the game?

© imago / Moritz Müller

Christoph Kramer: I think the victory was fully deserved. We kept the ball well and worked for the win. The opening goal was perhaps a little lucky, but it gave us a platform. It's particularly important that we kept a second successive clean sheet. That's something we can build on.

Question: You have just 12 points from seven games and you're already nine points behind league leaders FC Bayern München. Have Leverkusen stumbled out of the blocks?

Kramer: No, I don't see things like that. We had to go to Dortmund and Munich early on - both places you can lose - and that was unlucky. So in that regard, it's a satisfactory start to the season. It's only really the three points from the Darmstadt game that we regret having dropped. If we'd taken three points from that match, which everyone had counted on doing, we'd be talking about a great start to the season.

'We can get something in Barcelona'

Questions: Bayer have to go to Barcelona on Tuesday. What can you take there with you from your 3-0 win here?

Kramer: A win like this is good for our confidence, but it'll be a very different game.

Question: What do you mean by that?

Kramer: That it's a game that we should look forward to. The team worked hard for a whole season [to play] this kind of match. We should enjoy the game and have fun.

Question: Lionel Messi will miss out. Is that good for Bayer?

Kramer: Of course any team would miss Messi, but Barcelona still have a world-class team without him.

Question: The last time Leverkusen met them in 2011, it ended in a 7-1 defeat. Will it all be about damage limitation against the reigning European champions?

Kramer: No. In football, anything is possible and we can definitely get something in Barcelona. We have to go into the game with confidence and be fully focused.