Bellarabi set for comeback – Bender and Volland ruled out

Ahead of the first home match of 2017 on Sunday (15.30 CET) against Hertha Berlin at the BayArena, that is the last game in the first half of the current Bundesliga campaign, there are changes in the Werkself line-up. Lars Bender and Kevin Volland are still not match fit but it looks better for Stefan Kießling. The Black and Red camp is eagerly looking forward to the return of Karim Bellarabi.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

"The injury list hasn't improved as much as we hoped before the winter break," said Roger Schmidt in view of the current personnel situation. At the training camp in Orlando it looked very good for Lars Bender and Kevin Volland. "But Sunday’s game has come too early for both of them," explained the coach. While Bender has completed parts of full training, Volland is currently suffering with a back problem. It's looking much better for Kießling: "Kieß trained today but there is slight uncertainty of how he will react."

The whole club is particularly looking forward to the wizard on the wing Karim Bellarabi making his Bundesliga return for Leverkusen as Roger Schmidt emphasised: "Karim is in very good shape. It does us all good to have him back in the squad." Sporting director Rudi Völler took the same view early on in the week: "Great pace used to be important but these days it’s decisive – particularly against deep-lying opponents. So we're very happy that Karim is available again with all his power and tempo. That key was often missing in the first half of the season."

Roger Schmidt is expecting an exciting match against third-placed Hertha Berlin: "Hertha have been playing at a very high level over the past year and a half. This match will be a very tough challenge for us. We have to make sure that we focus on the discipline we showed over the winter break. They are very compact and good on the counter-attack with their fast players. We need a certain amount of patience and have to focus on our own game to make sure we don't give anything away."

Bayer 04 Bayer 04 expect a crowd of 27,000 including 1,300 from Berlin. Ticket offices will be open on matchday. 

Comeback on the mike

The new voice at home games at the BayArena will be a familiar one: Klaus Schenkmann, who handed over the role of stadium announcer after 15 years at the start of the season to Thomas Wagner, presenter of the Morning Show on Radio Leverkusen, returns to the mike for the match against Hertha Berlin. Schenkmann, who gave up his role at the Werkself last summer for professional reasons, now has greater capacity enabling him to return alongside Pitti Dahl in his stadium announcement duties at the BayArena.

Klaus will head for the Schwadbud after the final whistle against Hertha: Schenkmann will join Bayer 04 defender Jonathan Tah and Werkself fan Benjamin Liebig (Fan club 'Bismarck 122') at 18.00 CET to analyse the game against the team from Berlin.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Related News

Europa League - 29.11.2023

Alonso ahead of #BKHB04: ‘Play to win’ in snow and minus temperatures

The Werkself are looking to seal winning the group against Häcken on matchday five in the UEFA Europa League. Ahead of the game against the Swedish Cup winners on Thursday 30 November (kick-off: 21.00 CET), head coach Xabi Alonso talked about clear aims as well as the busy fixture list up to the winter break – and he recalled a special trip to Gothenburg, tomorrow's venue, as a teenager. Nathan Tella also fielded questions from the journalists on Wednesday night where he spoke about the importance of the Europa League to the club and himself.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 29.11.2023

Bayer 04 extend contract with top talent Francis Onyeka to 2027

Bayer 04 Leverkusen have given U17 player Francis Onyeka a long-term contact. The club has agreed a deal with the 16-year-old to 30 June 2027.

Show more
eSports - 29.11.2023

#Bayer04eSports: Four points on triple matchday

#B04eSports team suffered the first defeat of the season on matchday five in the VBL Club Championship 2023/24. Last night’s other games ended in a win and a draw. The Black and Reds are now fifth in the North West division.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 28.11.2023

Bayer 04 seal long-term deal with Simon Rolfes

Bayer 04 Leverkusen back continuity at the top of the club. The Bundesliga and Europa League participants have extended the contract with sporting managing director Simon Rolfes to 2028. The former midfielder and long-standing Werkself captain took over this position as the successor to Rudi Völler in the summer of 2022. He was previously the sporting director at Bayer 04 for three and a half years.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 28.11.2023

Florian Wirtz wins October Goal of the Month award

The fans have decided: The goal scored by Florian Wirtz to make it 1-0 for Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2-1 home win against SC Freiburg was voted Goal of the Month for October with 45 % of the votes cast. The 20-year-old Werkself player won the vote conducted by ARD-Sportschau by a clear margin ahead of second-placed Harry Kane (Bayern Munich).

Show more