27/02/2011 @17:30 (GMT+1)
Press conference (Friday)
Opening Statement Jupp Heynckes: Bremen personal situation will improve for our game on Sunday as their internationals Wiese, Pizarro and Borowski are set to return. We have already seen against VfB Stuttgart how difficult it is to play against consolidated teams of the Bundesliga that this year are in relegation troubles. The table situation of our opponent will not make it a pleasant and easier match!
Question: On Saturday Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will meet, Leverkusen has the chance to make up ground a day later to one or both teams. How do you avoid experiencing the same as against Nuremberg when Bayer 04 failed to benefit from the results of the competitors for the top positions?
Heynckes: A draw would be a good result for us and surely for Dortmund too. We need to focus on our match and try to deliver a similar performance as in Frankfurt or Kharkiv. I am confident that my team can do this. Yesterday’s game had to be played,we took an economic approach and the players should be fine by Sunday. Against Villarreal this is going to be different and I will react with changes to the line-up in the following league game. On Sunday my team needs to be top motivated and with the confidence to win in Bremen.
Question: Are there any reasons to change the team that played against Stuttgart?
Heynckes: Lars Bender had to be replaced during half-time because of a stomach bug. He is feeling very weak and is not available to us on Sunday. Hanno Balitsch has the flu and is going to stay in Leverkusen too. I have not made my mind up yet, as I want to see how the rest of players are feeling later in the training session. Of course we won’t see many changes as against Metalist.
Question: How do you rate Michael Ballack 1 1/2 games against Stuttgart and Metalist? Will da Costa also travel to Bremen?
Heynckes: Yes Danny will join us in Bremen. As said yesterday, I was happy with Ballack’s 90 minutes. It was important for him to play again over full distance. He was very active and gave some great passes during the match. The goal was also positive for him. Michael is the kind of player that does not waste clear chances on goal, like our youngsters did yesterday. But he still needs time, we can’t put the return-leg against Metalist at the same level of a Bundesliga match.
Fabian Giefer was out of action the last weeks due to a abdominal muscle strain. He returned to training on Thursday and should soon take again seat on our bench.
Tranquillo Barnetta will touch ball next week in the training sessions. The last two weeks he has been running and exercising in the Gym. We should see him again on the pitch by mid-March.
Same as against Stuttgart.
Line-up Bremen (from Kicker):
Wiese – D. Schmidt,Mertesacker,Prödl,Silvestre – Fritz,Bargfrede – Hunt,Marin – Avdic,Pizarro
Torsten Frings will miss the game after seeing his fifth yellow in Hamburg. Naldo, Daniel Jensen, Sebastian Boenisch and Wesley are injured. Prödl and Fritz returned to training on Friday and should make it.
On paper we should win tomorrow, but we have only done that in 3 of 36 official matches in Bremen:
Bundesliga 08/09: SV Werder Bremen – Bayer Leverkusen 0:2
Bundesliga 03/04: SV Werder Bremen – Bayer Leverkusen 2:6
Bundesliga 99/00: SV Werder Bremen – Bayer Leverkusen 1:3
See Stats here>> fussballdaten.de
The painful 2:2 last season with a very late Mertesacker goal was the start of a downwards trend which left us without Champions League. Time for revenge!