Dusseldorf vs Bayer Leverkusen Preview

Bayer Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes is focused on strengthening their position when they make the short journey to Fortuna Dusseldorf in a Rhine derby.

Lars Bender, Bayer Leverkusen

Two defeats in a row may not have dented Leverkusen's hopes too much as they still boast a six-point cushion over fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, but getting back to winning ways is their priority.

Getting bragging rights over their local rivals is just further incentive.

"We know all about what that means and, with the help of our fans, we desperately want to get a win which would really move us on in the battle for third," said Rolfes.

Leverkusen joint coach Sami Hyypia does not feel he will need to motivate his players too much ahead of their first Bundesliga trip to the Dusseldorf Arena in over 15 years.

"There's nothing better for a professional footballer than to play in such atmospheres," said the former Liverpool defender and Champions League winner.

"I'm convinced that we're ready to get the three points."

Fortuna coach Norbert Meier's side are just five points above the relegation zone and he knows they are far from out of the woods yet.

"People are starting to say that Fortuna have no worries anymore, but we have never said that we are already safe," he said.

"We are just concentrating on getting the results, as we have been doing all season, and we've been doing well."

Meier is without Brazilian defender Bruno Soares, but Robbie Kruse, Martin Latka and Stelios Malezas have all returned from international duty without any knocks.

Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling was not involved for Germany in the recent World Cup qualifiers, but his 16 goals this season have impressed Meier.

"He's an exceptional striker," he said. "We've got a job on our hands dealing with him."



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