Since the 2009/10 season there has been one top game each Bundesliga matchday. The Werkself and Borussia Dortmund have met seven times on a Saturday evening. The results have been good from a Bayer 04 perspective: A 3-0 away defeat in the first game in March 2010 was followed by three wins (including two at Dortmund) and three draws. And furthermore: Bernd Leno kept a clean sheet in five of those six matches.
The referee on Saturday night is Marco Schmidt and the 44-year-old will be assisted by Christof Günsch and Michael Emmer. Christian Bandurski is the fourth official. Schmidt has been a Bundesliga referee since 2003 and has officiated 156 times in the top flight. The 1.88 metre tall Swabian has refereed 14 games involving the Werkself with the most recent one being a 3-1 defeat at Mainz 05 on matchday three this term. Bayer 04 have a total of six wins, four draws and four defeats under Mr Schmidt.
The Werkself and BVB have played each other 77 times in the Bundesliga to date.The record is very evenly balanced: Bayer 04 have 27 wins with the other games producing 22 draws and 28 defeats. In terms of goals scored, the Black and Reds (113) are just one behind the Black and Yellows (114). A sizeable contribution was made in last season's 6-2 defeat in Bayer 04's last appearance in Dortmund, which was also the last game for coach Roger Schmidt. The previous meeting match ended all square at 1-1. Stefan Kießling has scored seven times against Dortmund in 20 games for the Werkself – only Ulf Kirsten has found the back of the net more often against BVB in Leverkusen's club history (eight goals in 22 games).
The results of recent weeks have been mixed – nevertheless, Dortmund are still clearly on course for the Champions League. That is primarily due to the number of points picked up at home. Since Peter Stöger took over as coach on matchday 16, Dortmund have not lost at home in the Bundesliga (five wins, three draws). Can the Werkself break that run? The last home defeat for Dortmund was on 9 December (1-2 against Werder Bremen) – it was also the last match with Peter Bosz in charge as the BVB coach. The next reverse at their own ground would be historic for BVB as it would be home defeat number 150 for Dortmund in the top flight. And also: Peter Stöger has never lost as coach of a Bundesliga team at home to Bayer 04 but has only won one of the previous seven encounters (2-1 at Leverkusen in November 2015).
Since last Saturday at 15.37 CET, it was clear the Werkself coaches including Heiko Herrlich, who spent eight years as a player at BVB (128 Bundesliga games, 41 goals), would have to find a replacement for Lars Bender in defence going into the away game at Dortmund: The Werkself skipper was shown a fifth yellow card of the season after just seven minutes when referee Brych ruled a challenge on Frankfurt's Willems to be a foul. In contrast, Lucas Alario is available to face BVB after serving a three-match ban. However, the Argentinian is in danger of being sidelined again as he currently has four bookings against him. The same applies to Charles Aránguiz.
All Bayer 04 fans, unable to support the Werkself on the road, are welcome at the Schwadbud: The fan pub in the East Stand at the BayArena is open as with all away games for fans to get together and watch the game on the big screen. The doors open one hour before kick-off at 17.30 CET. Another option for following Werkself games is provided by the Werkself Radio – the acoustic alternative to the existing live text reporting. Further information and background on the game plus live match updates are also available on our social media channels and on the website at bayer04.de: Come on you Black and Reds!
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