The German Football Association (DFB) has appointed Tobias Stieler as the referee for the away game in Cologne. The 41-year-old match official has previously refereed 22 games involving the Werkself with the Black and Reds picking up 17 wins, three draws and three defeats. Stieler's assistant referees are Christian Gittelmann and Thomas Stein with Sven Jablonski as the VAR. Have a good game!
Bayer 04 have played the team from Cologne 87 times to date. The overall comparison favours the Black and Reds: 33 wins, 30 draws and 24 defeats is the Bayer 04 record. FC Köln have recently had the edge: The team under head coach Steffen Baumgart collected four points in the two matches last season – the last time that happened was in the 1995/96 league campaign.
Another exciting fact relates to the Werkself head coach Xabi Alonso as the 2010 World Cup winner shares a very special memory with today's opponents from Cologne: The Spaniard set a Bundesliga record (since detailed data was collected in 2004/05) of 216 touches of the ball in September 2014 playing for Bayern Munich against the Rhinelanders. That record was broken in May 2016 by the then Borussia Dortmund player Julian Weigl (218) – the opponents then were also FC Köln.
Mid-table in the Bundesliga in twelfth place, knocked out in the first round of the DFB Cup, just missed out on progressing to the Round of 16 in the UEFA Conference League – the Cologne club and supporters definitely imagined a different record by the end of the year. FC Köln did make a good start to the season: In the first ten matchdays, the Rhinelanders were six times in the position to qualify for UEFA competitions at the end of the campaign. Matches against strong opponents like RB Leipzig (2-2), Eintracht Frankfurt (1-1) and Borussia Dortmund (3-2) brought FC Köln important points.
The Baumgart team have recently dropped significant points: The last three Bundesliga matches ended without victory for the team from Cologne. One single point came at the end of the three games picked up with the only goal scored by FC Köln in that period. Their ability to fight back (twelve points after going behind ten times in the league) as in the recent Conference League match against top-flight French side Nice (2-2 after being 2-0 down) was not enough to win any of the games. The reason for that was definitely the stresses and strain of the busy run of fixtures and the absence of key players. The captain Jonas Hector was sidelined for the last three games due to a foot injury and central defender Timo Hübers also missed out. Steffen Baumgart will also be without Hübers for today's game against the Werkself but Hector is possible. Further information on personnel, performers and problems at FC Köln can be found in our lowdown on the next opponents.
The away derby at FC Köln can again be followed on Werkself radio. The audio broadcast starts 30 minutes before kick-off with the commentators as usual Cedric Pick and Niko Hartmann reporting live from the Rheinenergie Stadium. In addition, the live text service will provide updates so there is no need to miss any the action against the team from Cologne. Both Werkself Radio and the live text updates can be found at bayer04.de and on the Bayer 04 app.
Several Leverkusen athletes have been nominated for this year's North Rhine Westphalia athletes vote, the FELIX awards: Werkself player Florian Wirtz is one of five candidates in the category of ‘Football FELIX’. The 19-year-old is joined by Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund), Marvin Schwäbe (FC Köln), Yann Sommer (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and Simon Terodde (Schalke 04).
The category of Para Athlete of the Year has four of the five nominations for para athletes from TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Taliso Engel (swimming), Maurice Wetekam (swimming), Johannes Floors (athletics) and Markus Rehm (athletics).
The Leverkusen athlete Konstanze Klosterhalfen is in the vote for Women's Athlete of the Year and the Bayer 04 athlete Bo Kanda Lita Baehre has been nominated as Men's Athlete of the Year.
The Bayer athletes can be voted for up to 20 November at www.nrw-sportlerdesjahres.de. The winners will be presented with the FELIX award at a gala event in Düsseldorf on 9 December.
Noch bis zum 20. November kann online auf www.nrw-sportlerdesjahres.de für die Bayer-Athleten abgestimmt werden. Die Gewinner werden dann bei der Gala-Veranstaltung am 9. Dezember in Düsseldorf mit dem FELIX-Award ausgezeichnet.
Bayer 04 welcomed 14 media representatives from Africa on Friday, 1 December. The trip for journalists from the likes of Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mozambique, Togo, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Togo was organised by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) with the goal of establishing and promoting Africa as a new target market for the Bundesliga.Show more
Bayer 04 has modernised its media working area in the stands at the BayArena and equipped it with new, multifunctional monitors. The 50 screens will be used for the first time for the fixture against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga next Sunday, 3 December (kick-off: 17:30 CET) and offer the media representatives working at the BayArena on matchday numerous possibilities.Show more
Bayer 04 have little time to recover from their 2-0 win away at Häcken in the UEFA Europe League, ensuring progress to the round of 16, before their next challenge up against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Sunday (17:30 CET). At his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, head coach Xabi Alonso spoke about BVB and gave a warning about not losing focus.Show more
Spirits are high at Borussia Dortmund following their impressive display and result away at AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. On Sunday (17:30 CET), they want to keep an impressive week going with another scalp in Leverkusen. Here’s the lowdown on our next opponents.Show more