With an extremely short recovery period, Heiko Herrlich has to get his players fit again and ready for the next opponent within three days. "It was a special situation and we didn't plan the defect of course. That's why I sent the players home," said the head coach at the pre-match press conference ahead of the Mainz game. All of the first-team squad are to complete their regeneration sessions at home as an exception – whether that's by walking or riding a bike. "It doesn't make sense for everybody to drive home and then return in the afternoon. Sleep is the best regeneration. Everybody should recover well – and then we'll get back together tomorrow for training."
Players with knocks – the Bender twins, Paulinho, Wendell and Dominik Kohr – were treated immediately on arrival at the BayArena. Heiko Herrlich did not have any worries about the latter named: "With Wendell, I'm assuming we'll sort it out in good time. Sven Bender's problem with his neck before the game against Rasgrad was unexpected but we are hopeful he may be able to play on Sunday." The 46-year-old coach was more reserved in his assessment of Lars Bender: "Lars went into yesterday's game with a knock. He gritted his teeth and fought his way through. In the second half he was on his last legs so I took him off. We'll have to see what happens today and tomorrow."
Regardless of the recovery phase – the Bayer 04 coach hopes to be able to "take the momentum from the Europa League into the Mainz game" and improve the record (ten wins, four draws, ten defeats). "I hope the team has taken a small step forwards." After three defeats in the first three Bundesliga matches, he wants to prove at the almost sold out family matchday, "that we're still hungry. Football is a competitive game and I hope we've absorbed the experience from Rasgrad." On Sunday, the boss is looking for Bayer 04 to produce a determined performance against Mainz who are currently in sixth place with seven points from three games.
The fact that the opposition will be fresh and rested for Sunday's game and don't have to struggle with travel strains is no excuse in the eyes of the head coach. "If you're playing in Europe then you have to live with it. It's all in the mind! You have to work, switch off and then get back at it the next day. You only have to jump that hurdle in your head once," said Herrlich. "Our lads are fit and they'll show that on Sunday."
Paderborn caused the upset of the second round of the DFB-Pokal as the Bundesliga 2 side beat top-flight Freiburg 3-1. The club from East Westphalia are now out to deliver another cup battle at the BayArena on Wednesday (kick-off: 18:00 CET). Here’s the lowdown on our next opponent.Show more
Once again there will be an early bird phase for tickets to Bayer 04 Bundesliga home games in the 2023/24 Rückrunde, open exclusively to Bayer 04 Club members. The latest information.Show more
Monster Energy has been a partner in the Sponsors Club at Bayer 04 Leverkusen since the start of the 2023/24 season. Monster Energy has shown their products at Werkself home games on the LED advertising hoardings at the BayArena. Monster Energy activated the next stage of the partnership with the current Bundesliga league leaders for Bayer 04’s home game against Union Berlin in the middle of November. Monster Energy will continue to present themselves as a reliable and ambitious partner to Leverkusen fans through similar promotional events as at the game against Union Berlin.Show more
Bayer 04 involvement with the ‘Kältegang Leverkusen’ project continues this winter. The current Bundesliga league leaders and their fans again presented financial and in-kind donations to the homeless charity at home game against Borussia Dortmund (1-1).Show more
The Werkself remain unbeaten after the 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Bundesliga Matchday 13. The one-sided game demanded a lot of strength of nerve and competitive spirit from Xabi Alonso's team. In the end, Victor Boniface rewarded the relentless attacking efforts of the league leaders against passive but efficient visitors. The Werkself review.Show more