#B04TSG – Countdown to kick-off

The first home game of the new Bundesliga season is here. 105 days have passed by since the last competitive match at the BayArena. Back then, on the penultimate matchday of the 2016/17 campaign, the Werkself secured top-flight status with a 2-2 draw in the derby against FC Köln. There was a huge wave of relief after a difficult year. Bayer 04 will be looking to continue along the road to success on Saturday (15.30 CET) when the visitors are TSG Hoffenheim. The referee is Harm Osmers (Hannover). read on for the important facts and stats on #B04TSG:

Werkself IMPRESS in opening home fixture

Heiko Herrlich's team deserved to pick up points in the opening match away to FC Bayern and now it is hoped the first home game of the season will bring a positive result. The omens are good: The Werkself have not been beaten in the opening home game of the season for the past six years. The last defeat at the start of a campaign at the BayArena was in 2010 when Borussia Mönchengladbach clocked up a 6-3 win.

Upgrade for the BayArena

The Werkself home ground has seen significant improvements during the summer break. In addition to the reconstruction of the VIP area in the South Stand, there have been major changes in the areas immediately next to the pitch: There is now an area of artificial turf a metre behind the touchline, new cables for TV broadcasts and video evidence have been laid and storage areas constructed for technical equipment. The players' tunnel has been upgraded and a new pitch laid at the BayArena for the first time in four years. So everything is set up for the start of the season for Bayer 04 at home.

Favourite opponent HOFFENHEIM

The team from the Kraichgau are a favourite opponent for the Werkself. Bayer 04 have won 13 out of a total of 18 Bundesliga fixtures against Hoffenheim (plus two draws and three defeats) – the Werkself do not have a better record against any other team in the league. The record is the other way round for Hoffenheim: TSG have lost more times against Bayer 04 than any other team in the Bundesliga. However, two of the three defeats suffered by the Werkself against the team, now led by coach Julian Nagelsmann, came last season – the home game ended in a 3-0 reverse and there was a 1-0 loss at the Rhine Neckar Arena.

King of substitutions NAGELSMANN

Julian Nagelsmann will complete 50 games in the Bundesliga as coach at Leverkusen on Saturday. Since his appointment, only FC Bayern (120 point) and Borussia Dortmund (100) have collected more points in the league than Hoffenheim (88). The 30-year-old also appears to have a magic touch: Last season, 13 goals for TSG were scored by substitutes – the highest number in the league. That skill has continued this season: Last weekend Nagelsmann brought on the winning goalscorer Andrej Kramaric in the 1-0 win against Werder Bremen and Mark Uth came off the bench to score in each of the two games against Liverpool in the Champions League qualifier.

Herrlich's debut victory as coach

The new Bayer 04 coach Heiko Herrlich already has Bundesliga experience. Before his posts at Unterhaching, with the FC Bayern Under 17 team and at Jahn Regensburg, he was the head coach at VfL Bochum for 184 days in the 2009/10 season. His first win as coach in Germany's top division was a 2-1 win against TSG Hoffenheim on 13 February 2010.

Julian Brandt set to REACH milestone

In the last two competitive matches, Heiko Herrlich has had a trump card up his sleeve in Julian Brandt – in the true sense the word. The Confed Cup winner proved his worth from the 72nd minute in the DFB Cup tie at Karlsruher SC and in the league opener at FC Bayern the youngster marked his ambition to be in the starting eleven when he came on for the second half. Our number ten is set to reach a special milestone against Hoffenheim: At the age of 21 years and 116 days he is on the verge of making his 100th Bundesliga appearance. If Brandt plays on Saturday afternoon then he will be the youngest ever Werkself player to clock up a century of games. He would take over in the record books from Gonzalo Castro (21 years and 135 days). In the history of league Brandt would be the tenth youngest player to reach that milestone.

New yearbook AVAILABLE

Many Bayer 04 fans have keenly awaited its arrival: The brand-new Werks11 yearbook appears just in time for the first home match for the Werkself. The 230 pages cover everything a Black and Red fan could want: a detailed interview with the new head coach Heiko Herrlich, profiles on all the Bayer 04 pros and coaches, each with two pages, impressive photos, a detailed review of last season as well as the Confed Cup and the U21 European Championships from a Werkself perspective, a large statistics section listing all Bayer 04 Bundesliga players and European matches, plus a look at the U19, U17, Women's and Veterans teams, the new website, social media output, community action and, and, and… The new Bayer 04 yearbook is available on Saturday from the shop at the BayArena for the price of six euros. Please note: It is only available as a limited edition.

Dominik Kohr AT the #W11Fantalk

First home game, first #W11Fantalk. Following the match against 1899 Hoffenheim, Dominik Kohr will be the guest player at the popular #W11Fantalk from about 18.00 CET in the Schwadbud. After returning to Leverkusen from his period on loan at Augsburg, 'Domme' is happy to take time out to answer your questions. Do you have any questions you would like to put to your 'Hardkohr'? Then feel free using Facebook or Twitter under the hashtag #W11Fantalk.

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