Women host Bremen looking to finish with points record

Time to say goodbye! Matchday 22 against SV Werder Bremen marks not only the end of the Google Pixel Women's Bundesliga season for Bayer 04 Women but also, for their coach and a number of players, their time under the Cross. Moreover, the home match on Monday 20 May (kick-off 15:30 CEST) has plenty of sporting significance too.

After two years, Robert de Pauw will stand on the touchline at the Ulrich-Haberland-Stadion for the last time on Monday. The Dutchman didn't want to say yet whether there'll be a tear or two in his eye. "Goodbyes are always emotional, especially when it's so many people at once. It will be remembered for a long time to come," he said. As well as the 42-year-old and his assistant Jessie van den Broek, captain Elisa Senß (joining Eintracht Frankfurt), Verena Wieder, Caroline Siems (both Bremen), Nikola Karczewska (end of loan), Cecilie Johansen and Clara Fröhlich will also be given an official send-off before kick-off against Werder.

De Pauw: 'Obviously special circumstances'

The quest for two significant sporting objectives should not influence the ceremonial proceedings. "That shouldn't play any role in the game," demanded de Pauw. "We want to have our usual rituals, even if it's obviously special circumstances. The best players will play for us to be able to achieve our goals. Depending on how the game goes, we'll see who's brought on. But the focus is on sporting matters."

Robert de Pauw versammelt seine Spielerinnen

Talking of objectives, Leverkusen's tally of 31 points is already more than they had to their name at the end of last term. If they add another three against Bremen, it will be the best showing in the team's Bundesliga history. If TSG Hoffenheim simultaneously lose to champions Bayern Munich, the season-long target of fifth place would be secured. "Both objectives are very important for us," said de Pauw. "The points tally is already very positive. It would speak for itself if we had the best season of all time. If we achieve both goals, that would be the cherry on the cake." He won't be interested in the other match, though. "We have to concentrate on our task - we have no influence on the result in Hoffenheim," added the coach.

As if further motivation were needed for a successful finish to the campaign, there are also memories of the reverse fixture. At the end of January, Werder snatched the three points late in a 2-1 win. "We really want revenge," said de Pauw, adding: "We know that Bremen can be very awkward opposition, but we have a lot of confidence and know we can beat them if we perform."

Bremen Trio 'with composure on ball'

He won't be deceived by the fact Bremen have collected just two wins in the second half of the campaign. "They lost their captain Lina Hausicke to a serious injury, in addition to other injuries," described de Pauw. "That's also why the Rückrunde certainly hasn't gone that well for them. Nevertheless, in Sophie Weidauer, Nina Lührßen and Juli Wirtz, they have three dangerous players with a lot of composure on the ball." Bayer 04 Women will again be without goalkeeper Charlotte Voll (shoulder) and Melissa Friedrich (ankle) for the last match of the season.

Tickets online and on the door

Tickets for the Werkself's last outing before the summer break are available online HERE. Tickets will also be available on the day. Streaming services DAZN and MagentaSport are broadcasting the game live.

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