The Werkself are one point off the Champions League spots and five ahead of the Europa League qualification position of sixth (seventh place brings participation in the qualifying round). A win for Bayer 04 at Bremen would see a return to the European stage after one year's absence – and, moreover, maintain the chance of qualifying for Europe's premier club competition on the final matchday. And there is one requirement for the club and fans on the way to achieving that objective: Show your colours. Following on from the traditional Finally Red campaign, this time it is 'Back to Europe – everybody to Bremen in red'– the slogan was announced several weeks ago jointly by NK 12, fan liaison and Bayer 04.
Bayer 04 and Werder Bremen have already played each other twice this season. The Werkself came out on top in tightly fought encounters: In the middle of December there was a 1-0 home win in the league and two months later – also at the BayArena – a 4-2 win after extra time in the DFB Cup quarter-finals. Now there is a possibility of a third victory over Bremen this term. However, Bremen are unbeaten in their last eleven games on their home turf at the Weser Stadium and recently impressed with two draws against RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund (1-1 in both games).
Talking about draws. The Werkself have not shared the points with any other team as often in the Bundesliga: 29 of the previous 75 league fixtures have ended all square. The other matches produced 20 wins for the Black and Reds and 26 defeats. Leverkusen have only won five games at Bremen. In the previous four visits to the Weser Stadium, Bayer 04 have lost three times and the last win is two and a half years ago (3-0 on 26 September 2015).
30 years ago today – on 4 Mai 1988 – was the first of two UEFA Cup final ties between Espanyol and the eventual winners Bayer 04. Just in time for the anniversary, the Werkself will play in a special #UEFACUP88 kit to mark the first title win for Bayer 04. Almost exactly three decades ago, after a 3-0 defeat in the first leg, Bayer 04 achieved the 'miracle of Leverkusen' playing in their white kit in the return match on 18 May. The trophy was lifted after an exciting penalty shootout. And the special shirt will be limited to a run of 1988 and numbered accordingly. The first four shirts were won at the Stuttgart game. Anybody wanting to acquire one of this limited edition can order via the following link : http://shop.bayer04.de/sondertrikot-jako-30-jahre-uefa-cup-sieg-18-19.html
A look at the Werkself away record provides encouragement. Heiko Herrlich's team have picked up 25 points from 16 away games (seven wins, four draws, five defeats) – only the champions of Germany Bayern Munich (37) have earned more points away from home. And the 29 away goals is the second highest number after the 33 for FC Bayern. And it appears Bayer 04 particularly enjoy scoring at Bremen: Only Borussia Mönchengladbach (137) and VfB Stuttgart (130) have scored more goals against Werder than the Werkself (116) and the previous 16 league encounters have only seen them fail to score once – a 1-0 defeat at Bremen in December 2013.
Heiko Herrlich and his men have just one more fixture after the Bremen match. For at least three of the Werkself players, Saturday's game could be the last appearance of the season: In addition to the South Americans Lucas Alario (who scored the winner in the previous league meeting) and Charles Aranguiz, Kevin Volland is also on four bookings after the yellow card in the Stuttgart game. Kevin also has the chance of finishing second in the top goalscorer's list – ahead of matchday 33 he is level with Hoffenheim's Mark Uth (14 goals for the season) and just one behhind Nils Petersen (SC Freiburg, 15).
The referee for Saturday's game is Robert Hartmann. The 38-year-old has officiated in the Bundesliga since 2011 (a total of 83 top-flight games) and he has refereed twelve matches involving Bayer 04. From a Bayer 04 perspective, those fixtures ended in seven wins, two draws and three defeats. This will be the fourth time this season the Ingolstadt-born match official has refereed a Bayer 04 game and none of those ended in defeat: In the league there was a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund and a 2-0 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach plus in the DFB Cup a 3-0 win after extra time away to Karlsruher SC. At the Weser Stadium on Saturday afternoon he will be supported by the two assistant referees Christian Leicher and Markus Schüller. Robert Schröder is the fourth official at Bremen.
All Bayer 04 fans, unable to support the Werkself in Bremen, 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 14.30 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! Finally red – fight together, win together.
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