Training in hats and gloves

The Werkself were able to rest on Saturday following their return from the Sunshine State Florida on Friday afternoon. Head coach Roger Schmidt gave his players the day off before holding a training session on Sunday.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Given the pleasant temperatures in Orlando there was a certain need to acclimatise to the wintry conditions in Leverkusen. Instead of shorts and T-shirts on the training ground at the BayArena it was time for hats and gloves. Hakan Calhanoglu and Kevin Kampl were ruled out the slight infection. On the plus side, skipper Lars Bender returned to full training for the first time since his latest injury.

The focus in training was on the forthcoming Bundesliga match against Hertha Berlin on Sunday 22 January (15.30 CET kick-off), which is the last match of the first half of the season. Ahead of the first competitive match in 2017 there is a friendly on Tuesday against VfL Bochum. The Werkself entertain the side lying eleventh in the second division at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium at 14.00 CET. Entrance is free.

Friendly against Bochum live broadcast

Anybody unable to make it to the stadium can follow the match live on and

Bochum also played Bayer 04 in a friendly at the Haberland Stadium in January 2016 with the second division outfit winning that match 2-1. VfL have played three friendlies this year losing 1-0 against FC Köln, beating Greuther Fürth 3-0 and a 2-1 reverse last Saturday away to Darmstadt 98.

Match practice for Bellarabi – Volland set for comeback

"The match against VfL Bochum is primarily for players who have recently been sidelined with injury," said Roger Schmidt. That includes important match practice for Karim Bellarabi. The 26-year-old made his comeback in the 1-0 victory against Atlético Mineiro in the Florida Cup and his 45 minutes were "played like he'd never been away" (Schmidt). Bellarabi himself was also very happy with his first appearance since a serious tendon injury: "It's good to be back. I didn't have any problems."

Hopefully Kevin Volland will be able to say the same after the game against VfL Bochum on Tuesday. The striker is due to make his first appearance after a six-week injury layoff in this friendly." And then we'll see if there's a reaction. It's important to listen to what your body is telling you," said the Germany international.

Roger Schmidt is giving his players another day off from training on Wednesday. From Thursday the focus is on the final preparations for the Bundesliga home game against Hertha Berlin.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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