But that is no reason to throw in the towel. On the contrary: The mischievous Werkself are obviously intent on tripping up the record champions – and pinching all three points if possible. Let’s see what happens. For starters, here are 04 facts ahead of #B04FCB.
Of course, there is no doubt the main aim on Saturday afternoon will be to upset Bayern again at long last. It's a tough challenge as the team from Munich are once again the best away side in the league. Since the last victory in May 2015, Bayer O4 have taken just two points from seven encounters (both times thanks to goalless draws at the BayArena). The previous three league fixtures have ended in 3-1 defeats – last April's DFB Cup semi-final saw FCB win 6-2. The Werkself do not have a worse run of results against any other team in the Bundesliga. Nevertheless, the Werkself don't have to hide their heads in the sand. On the one hand, the form curve is clearly running in the right direction and, on the other, the Werkself are at home to Bayern Munich. And at the BayArena, the Black and Reds – with the exception of the DFB Cup – have only lost two of the last nine meetings with the record champions (two wins, five draws). Moreover: FC Bayern have not picked up as few wins against any other club over that period.
As already mentioned, the performances in the first two games of the second half of the season are reason to be positive – Bayern will face a different team from the fixture earlier in the league campaign. As in the unlucky 1-0 defeat against Gladbach (22 shots on goal), the Werkself attack was on fire in the 3-0 win away to Wolfsburg in the new 4-3-3 formation under Peter Bosz and they tested the goalkeeper Koen Casteels from nearly every angle. A total of 23 shots headed towards the Wolfsburg goal – a black and red record for the season. The total of 45 shots in the very short second half of the season so far says one thing: The best return in the league ahead of Werder Bremen (42) and Bayern Munich (40). 15 of the 23 shots in Lower Saxony were on target – and that is also the best return in the league. Only FC Bayern have succeeded in firing more shots at the opposition net – in November 2004 in the 3-1 away win against Kaiserslautern. And, talking about Red Devils: In the event of a win, Bayer 04 would overtake the current third division side in the all-time table of the Bundesliga and move into tenth place. And why not?
The Werkself are not only the measure of all things in terms of shots on goal as the Black and Reds are also leaders in ground covered in the Bundesliga. In the first half of the season, the Black and Reds were amongst the hardest working sides in the league but the Bosz team have certainly upped that performance in the first two games of the second half of the season. On average, the Bayer 04 pros have covered an impressive 126.3 kilometres and put in 300 sprints per game. At Wolfsburg it was even 307. And that is the highest number since records were first kept in 2011! A not insignificant number were completed by Kai Havertz who definitely appears determined to carry on in 2019 where he left off in 2018. With 225.8 kilometres covered, the Werkself number 29, who became the youngest penalty taker in the club’s history last weekend at the age of 19 and 229 days, is also the hardest-running pro in the league and therefore also top in the club rankings – ahead of Kevin Volland (197.2 km), Jonathan Tah (187.4 km) and Julian Brandt (172.5 km). Moreover: With his seventh Bundesliga goal of the season, he has scored exactly as often this season in 19 outings as he did in all his previous 54 league games put together.
The home game against Bayern at the BayArena is being staged under a special motto. Last Sunday, 27 January, was the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the people held in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Around this day, German football has for many years remembered people persecuted and murdered by the Nazis and those who survived. As in recent years, Bayer 04 again supports the German Football League (DFL) campaign "Day of remembrance in German football –! Never again". During the game, the words 'Nie wieder' (Never again) will be shown at the ground. Bayer 04 are thereby taking a stand and clearly expressing the position that racism and discrimination have no place in society or in football.
Why is healthy eating important? What positive effects can it have on everyday life? And what does a competitive athlete actually eat? These questions and many more were the focus of the latest Bayer 04 event as part of the neighbourhood games days. With a visit to GGS Kerschensteinerschule, Bayer 04 professionals Gustavo Puerta and Verena Wieder kicked off the third campaign match day of this Bundesliga season against VfL Bochum, which will be centred around the Küppersteg district. The duo were supported by nutritionist Lena Kadlec, who organised a workshop with the pupils.Show more
Bayer 04 are through to the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal after a 3-1 win over Paderborn in the round of 16. Victor Boniface opened the scoring before Exequiel Palacios doubled up inside the first half hour. Sebastian Klaas got one back for the visitors on 82 minutes, but Patrik Schick restored the two-goal lead a few moments later as Leverkusen extended their unbeaten start to 2023/24 to 21 matches.Show more
The Werkself host Paderborn in the DFB-Pokal round of 16 today, Wednesday 6 December (18:00 CET) at the BayArena. Here’s all the latest information ahead of the cup clash with the Bundesliga 2 club.Show more
The Bundesliga has announced its nominees for November’s Player of the Month, with two Werkself players up for the award in Alejandro Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong. Fans can now vote for who they want to win.Show more