4.01.2018Bayer 04

Friendlies: Familiar faces with Fürth

The Werkself have friendlies on Friday and Saturday. Good news for the fans: The two matches at the Haberland Stadium against Fürth and Münster will be broadcast live.

"This week we all want to get back on track together and make sure we're 100% fit. And next week we'll focus on the game against Bayern." Heiko Herrlich has laid down the approach for the Werkself  in the short phase before the restart of the Bundesliga with the cracker of a fixture against the league leaders from Munich on Friday 12 January. There are two friendlies in addition to the sessions at the training ground at the BayArena. The first is on Friday (14.00 CET, Haberland Stadium) against second division SpVgg Greuther Fürth followed by the match against third division Preußen Münster on Saturday (14.00 CEt, Haberland Stadium). And there is a special service for all Bayer 04 fans unable to be at the games: Both matches will be broadcast live on and Facebook.

match practice for all pros

Heiko Herrlich has already announced he wants to give all his players match practice in the two friendlies as far as is possible. "I will pick two different teams. Ideally, all players will get 90 minutes on the pitch," said the Werkself coach. Following the return of Wendell and Lucas Alario on Wednesday, with both completing full training, Charles Aránguiz and Leon Bailey have also returned from their winter breaks. Benny Henrichs, who suffered a bruised foot in the DFB Cup game at Borussia Mönchengladbach, was only able to complete an individual training session and is unlikely to feature in the friendlies. "We don't want to take any risks with him and we'll take it day by day," declared Herrlich.

Familiar  venue for a trio

Friday's match against Fürth brings a reunion with Roberto Hilbert. The 33 year-old stalwart and right back played 58 Bundesliga games for Bayer 04 from 2013 to 2017 before moving on to the Bavarian club in the summer. In addition to Hilbert, there are two other men at the club, currently next to bottom in the second division, who used to be at Leverkusen: The winger Khaled Narey (23) came through the youth ranks at Bayer 04, and Fürth's head coach Damir Buric was assistant to Robin Dutt at the Werkself in 2011/12. The 53-year-old Croat (pictured above with Stefan Kießling) took over in September after Janos Radoki was dismissed.

Münster success in the distant past

Also in danger of relegation – albeit in a tier below in the third division –are Preußen Münster, third bottom in the table at the winter break. The former giants from East Westphalia parted company with coach Benno Möhlmann two weeks before Christmas with Marco Antwerpen taking charge (formerly at Viktoria Köln). The club won their major honours over 50 years ago: In 1951 Preußen reached the German Championship final, and they were founder members of the Bundesliga in 1963. A nice footnote: The club made their Bundesliga debut in front of 38,000 fans at a sold-out Preußen Stadium against Hamburg SV (1-1) –  the first capacity crowd in the history of the Bundesliga was at Münster. Back then, the Preußen team included Manfred Rummel, who passed away last year, and he was the coach who took the Werkself to the second division in 1975. Münster and Bayer 04 were rivals in the Second Division North from 1975 to 1979.

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