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"We’re ready and looking forward to the first game in the league," said Werkself head coach Peter Bosz at the pre-match press conference held at the media centre at the BayArena on Friday afternoon. The opposition is also a reason. "I followed them last season in the second division: They play on the front foot and the coach is very courageous – I like that," said Bosz in praising the freewheeling playing philosophy of SC Paderborn, whose coach Steffen Baumgart he played alongside at Hansa Rostock from January to July 1998. Given the attacking style of play of the two teams, the 55-year-old sees a good chance that "tomorrow's game won't end in a goalless draw" and he believes the spectators will be entertained.
The Dutchman will have to manage without Joel Pohjanpalo (ankle) and Mitchell Weiser against the second division runners-up. The 25-year-old who scored his first Bundesliga goal against Paderborn four and a half years ago, suffered a bruised foot in the pre-season and only started individual training at the start of the week following a three-week stint on the sidelines. The rest of the squad took part in full training according to Bosz who is looking to start the Bundesliga campaign with a win after the previous three opening fixtures in the league ended in defeat.
In 2015/16 the Werkself last started the season with a win in a 2-1 victory over TSG Hoffenheim. "It's always very important to get a start like that – you want to win the game to feel good. So it will be important we are fully focused tomorrow," demanded Bosz who has been working on fine tuning the Werkself over the course of the week. "We saw in the Cup game against Aachen that we’re on the right track but we have to improve. And I hope that's the case against Paderborn."
The record against the Sport Club from East Westphalia-Lippe, founded in 1907, looks good up to now: Bayer 04 and SCP have only met twice before – in the first season Paderborn were in the Bundesliga: a 2-2 draw at the BayArena followed a 3-0 away win at the Benteler Arena. To make sure that continues and hopefully to mark a successful start to the season, the fan groups have come up with something special for the start of the season. At 13.30 CET, when the Werkself arrive in the team bus along Bismarckstraße ( by the 'Stadioneck'), Lars Bender, Kevin Volland and Co. will be greeted with an emotional, black and red reception. "We can't do without the fans – there were lots of them in Aachen and last season we saw that we need them. Support is very important – it can make the difference you need to win a game," said Bosz impressed by the event.
Tickets are available on the day the Paderborn game that will also see Rüdiger Vollborn and Stefan Kießling named Bayer 04 honorary captains.
Latest match info
Weather forecast: 21 degrees, cloudy
Referee: Tobias Stieler
Live on Werks11-Radio: bayer04.de
Live TV broadcaster: Sky Sport
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