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29.03.2018Bundesliga

#B04FCA – Facts and stats for Easter weekend clash

The international break is over, Easter is around the corner – as is matchday 28 in the Bundesliga. There are no games on Good Friday but there are five afternoon games and two evening matches on Easter Saturday. The Werkself entertain tenth-placed FC Augsburg on that day, The kick-off at the BayArena is at 15.30 CET.
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get back on track!

Of all things, Heiko Herrlich's team suffered a painful 2-0 defeat in the league derby away to FC Köln in the last matchday before the international break. The defeat was compounded with all rivals for a Champions League spot able to win their games. The Black and Reds want to put that behind them as they go in search of a seventh home win in the current Bundesliga campaign against Augsburg. The Werkself are determined to regain the initiative against the Bavarian team to start the forthcoming "week of truth" with three points in the bag. The omens could be worse: Bayer 04 have never lost a competitive match against FC Augsburg and have not lost two league games in succession this season. Let's hope it stays like that...

Augsburg's bogey team

From the point of view of the visitors, memories of the works club from the Rhineland are considerably more miserable than the weather forecast for Easter in Leverkusen (Saturday: cloudy, 11°C). FC Augsburg have been in the top flight for six years and there is only one club the Bavarian Swabians have not been able to beat to date – Bayer 04. The two teams have met in the Bundesliga 13 times with the Werkself winning eight of those matches and five games ended all square (FCA did not have any luck in the DFB Cup either with defeats in 1994 and 2009). In home matches in the league, Bayer 04 have earned four wins plus two draws. However, the Werkself should be on their guard. Augsburg have only lost one of the last six matches against the Werkself. That was a 3-1 defeat at home with the return game ending all square at 1-1.

WILLENBORG the man with the whistle

It was confirmed on Thursday afternoon: Florian Willenborg from Osnabrück will referee the match between Bayer 04 and Augsburg. The 39-year-old secondary school teacher is in his second season as a Bundesliga match official (16 games) and has refereed three Werkself games so far – the last one was a 2-0 home win in the league against Mainz 05 at the end of January. Before that, Willenborg was in charge for Bayer 04's 4-1 victory in the DFB Cup against Union Berlin as well as for the 2-1 defeat against FC Ingolstadt in 2016/17. His record of cards against the Werkself: three yellow and one red. Up to now, the 1.88 metre tall referee as officiated in Werkself games at the BayArena. And now it's the same again. He will be assisted by Holger Henschel and Jan Clemens Neitzel-Petersen. Anyone wanting to make the same journey as the match officials to the BayArena on Saturday are welcome as tickets are still available.

ever present Leno

The first game against Augsburg in the Bundesliga was played on 9 September 2011 at the WWK Arena in Augsburg with goals from Eren Derdiyok, Sidney Sam (2) and Stefan Kießling securing a convincing 4-1 win for the Werkself under coach Robin Dutt. That Black and Red line-up also included Lars Bender and Bernd Leno – all three are still playing for Bayer 04 – (with Karim Bellarabi on the bench). Bernd Leno and Augsburg's Daniel Baier have both played in all the previous league meetings. The two could face each other as captains on Saturday if selected.

historic favourite opponent?

Bayer 04 have been in Germany's top flight since 1979. During this time Karlsruhe SC with a favourite opponents for the Werkself – the Black and Reds suffered their first defeat against a side from Baden in the fourteenth encounter (1-2; 24 February 1990). Heiko Herrlich's team could equal that club record on Saturday against Augsburg.

hopes pinned on Volland

Talking about the previous meeting. Back then, at the start of November, Kevin Volland put the Werkself 1-0 up just after half-time. It was the sixth goal of the season for the number 31, who had to miss the last league match in Cologne due to the birth of his daughter. Since November there have been another four goals which makes him the top goalscorer in the club with ten to date. The 25-year-old last scored in the opening fixture of 2018 when he scored against Bayern on matchday 18 to make it 2-1 for the Bavarians. With the suspension of his strike partner Lucas Alario, hopes are pinned on Volland who confirmed his threat up front with a brace in Thursday's 5-2 win in the friendly against second division Bochum. If he scores against Augsburg it will be Bundesliga goal number 50  for the man born in the Allgäu. His possible leading role could be reinforced by his visit to the Schwadbud at for the #W11Fantalk after the game.

home debut for Werkself Radio

Now you can have Black and Red in your ears. For the start of the Easter festivities Bayer 04 have extended their media provision to new formats. From the derby, Werkself supporters have been able to follow competitive matches on the club radio – as an acoustic alternative to the live match reporting. Saturday will see the first broadcast of a home game against Augsburg. Since the start of the week, the Werkself fans and friends have also been able to hear podcasts that will bring current news and historical information on the club every two weeks. Access to the podcast is available by the audio streaming platform SoundCloud plus other podcast apps such as iTunes from Apple. Moreover: In episode #1 of the podcast,  Bayer 04 legend Rüdiger Vollborn answers questions posed by Cedric Pick.

Bruckmann And Brücken in the Schwadbud

As with all home games, the Schwadbud in the East Stand at the BayArena opens its doors two hours before kick-off for fans to get in in the mood for the match in a Bayer 04 environment. About one hour before kick-off there is a discussion where well-known faces from the club exchange there views and opinions. This time the two former pros Klaus Bruckmann (64) and Matthias Brücken (64) are the guests. Bruckmann played 200 matches for Bayer 04 between 1977 and 1983 with the former sweeper finding the back of the net 26 times. Brücken was brought through the ranks at Leverkusen and he wore black and red between 1975 and 1980 in 92 appearances that saw the striker score 37 goals .

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