#BVBB04 – 04 facts ahead of the away game at the league leaders

One thing is certain after the exit from the Europa League: Bayer 04 can now fully focus on the league campaign. Unfortunately. Or perhaps: fortunately – depending on how you look at it. The Werkself have twelve games to play this season. The next is an away clash with Borussia Dortmund, currently top of the table. Sunday's match at the Signal Iduna Park (18.00 CET, live text commentary and web radio in German at is the final game on Bundesliga matchday 23.

It wasn't to be for the Werkself in the two cup competitions this season. Now it's time to use the remaining games in the league to qualify for Europe next term and do better than this. Preferably in the Champions League. And the team under coach Peter Bosz - along with direct rivals from Gladbach, Leipzig, Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim – can now fully concentrate on that target. And that's what we'll do. The game at BVB should be a thriller. Here are 04 facts on #BVBB04...

on the up, away from home

Brush yourself down and carry on. The match at BVB is the seventh game in February and also the last. The Werkself will then be able to get a breather after the past three busy weeks. Borussia Dortmund will certainly provide a severe challenge on Sunday. But the Black and Reds are capable of holding their own with the best as was shown against Bayern Munich. And Bosz and his players do not have to fear the league leaders. On the contrary. Not with 04 wins in succession and the move up to fifth place - that is the recent trend in the league. Bayer 04 travel to Dortmund as the best away side since the winter break. And the Werkself have again and again come out on top on the road recently. After wins at Schalke (2-1), Wolfsburg (3-0) and Mainz (5-1) success against Borussia Dortmund would be the fourth away win in succession. The last time that was achieved by Bayer 04 was eight years ago (September to November 2010) and it would provide some consolation for being knocked out of the Europa League.

one out of eight

Caution is the order of the day - even though BVB have stumbled recently and the title race with Bayern Munich is more open again. However, Lucien Favre's team, league leaders since the 4-2 win against the Werkself on matchday six, are dominant on their own turf: There have been eleven games in the league at the Signal Iduna Park so far this season and only Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim have succeeded in picking up a point there with the other games all won by BVB. No other team in the Bundesliga has gone so long without defeat at home. Respect. And to make matters worse from a black and red perspective, Bayer 04 have struggled over recent years at the home of the Black and Yellows – the last three away games have produced three defeats (0-3, 2-6, 0-4). The recent record is more black than black and red: Of the last eight meetings, the Werkself have only won once – in October 2016 (otherwise two draws, five defeats). It's time for a change.

Hello Dortmund!

The game against BVB is a very special one for Bayer 04 coach Peter Bosz. The 55-year-old is returning to his former club for the first time. In 2017/18 he was appointed coach at Dortmund but he had to move on after just over six months (24 games). After an impressive start with six wins from the first seven games, BVB dropped down the league to eighth place and were knocked out of the Champions League. "I'm looking forward to the reunion on Sunday, I'm looking forward to meeting the staff and the players who were there during my time," said Peter Bosz at the pre-match press conference on Friday. The Dutchman has also made a good start at the Werkself – at least in the Bundesliga. That's confirmed by look at the stats: In comparison to his predecessor Heiko Herrlich (1.5) the Werkself have scored a goal more (2.6) and conceded a goal less (0.6) than under the former coach (1.7) to date in the Bundesliga. In the recent 2-0 victory against Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bayer 04 did not concede a single shot on goal for the first time this season. Carry on as you are. And, something else: On 36 points, Bayer 04 now have one more than at the same time last season when they went on to just miss out on fourth place at the end the season due to an inferior goal difference compared with Dortmund. That fits in.

hats off to tah

Talking about passes. The Werkself were a veritable passing machine against Düsseldorf: over the 90 minutes, Kai Havertz, Julian Brandt and Co. made a total of 1,054 passes with Fortuna only making 180. Since the beginning of detailed record-keeping (2004/05), the Werkself are thereby only the second team to beat the 1000 passes mark in a Bundesliga fixture – before that, it was only achieved by… no surprise…Bayern Munich with 1109 passes at Hertha Berlin in March 2014. And the 85 per cent possession against the neighbours on the Rhine is only surpassed by Borussia Dortmund in September 2017 at Freiburg (87 per cent). By the way: Jonathan Tah almost produced a perfect performance against his former club, particularly in terms of the stats: The central defender had an impressive 212 contacts with the ball over 90 minutes just missing out on the Bundesliga record set by Julian Weigl (218 touches of the ball in May 2016 against FC Köln). In addition, Tah made an impressive 207 passes over the 90 minutes with 97 per cent successfully completed - the best return for a Bundesliga player this season. The Werkself number four, on the verge of a 50th Bundesliga win at Dortmund, made more passes than the whole of the Düsseldorf team (180). Hats off to Jonathan.

Match info:

Previous result: 2-4 (H)
Venue: Signal Iduna Park (81,360 capacity)
Referee: Christian Dingert (Thallichtenberg)
Weather forecast: 12 degrees, sunny
Live TV broadcaster: Sky


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