On Saturday, Bremen face Leverkusen, who’ve been an unstoppable force in all competitions this season and don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
|Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Bremen are coming off back-to-back league draws and are three straight games unbeaten. Newly-capped German international Marvin Ducksch will be the focal point this weekend if Werder want any chance to keep up with high-flying Bayer.
Ole Werner is battling a case of the flu and it’s still unclear whether he’ll be well enough to coach. Assistant trainer Patrick Kohlmann has been filling in and will be in charge if Werner can’t pace the touchline.
In a presser, Head of First Team Football Clemens Fritz said, "It will definitely be a huge challenge against Leverkusen. They barely give you room to breathe and are brutally strong in transition."
Christian Groß and Jiri Pavlenka both returned to training this week and are expected to be back in the squad. However, Werner will make a late decision on whether Pavlenka or Michael Zetterer will start in goal. Naby Keïta is questionable with an illness, while Nicolai Rapp and Leon Opitz are out.
Bayer have won 12 straight competitive games and are yet to lose a match all season. They are expected to score more goals this weekend against a Bremen side that have struggled through defensive lapses on several occasions this season.
Jeremie Frimpong, who suffered a knock over the international break, is healthy and set to start. Edmond Tapsoba is available as well, but it’s unclear if he’ll play from the off in Xabi Alonso’s back three.
On Friday, Alonso commented, "All players have returned healthy, which is good news. Many players have qualified for the Euros. There were some national team debuts - that gives good energy.“
Patrik Schick is unavailable this weekend, but he’s expected to return next week. Arthur and Timothy Fosu-Mensah remain out.