bundesliga.com has the lowdown on the floodlit clash at the BayArena...
For Leverkusen, sitting pretty at the top of the Bundesliga for the first time in five years, the visit of Bremen is about making it three wins from three to maintain their perfect record. New coach Roger Schmidt's (pictured) system has had great early success with wins over Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin, while after two draws, Robin Dutt will be hoping to check his former club's momentum and guide his Bremen side to an unlikely victory.
Injuries to midfielders Julian Brandt and Simon Rolfes aside, Schmidt has a near full-strength unit ahead of die Werkself's testing Autumn schedule of seven games in 23 days. Lars Bender will be included in the squad after injury but is lacking in match practice, while Australian dynamo Robbie Kruse's (pictured) return after an eight-month lay-off will compensate somewhat for Brandt's injury in midfield.
Philipp Bargfrede and Theodor Gebre Selassie's injuries mean they will have to wait for their first appearance of the season, but Bremen's strength in depth is highlighted by the fact that players of the quality of Luca Caldirola and Fin Bartels will have to settle for a place on the bench. Franco di Santo (pictured), who opened his account against Hertha Berlin on Matchday 1, could start up front with Nils Petersen.
Karim Bellarabi's (pictured) early-season form makes him Leverkusen's danger man. With two goals and one assist in just two Bundesliga games, as well as scoring in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, the pacey winger has begun 2014/15 in fine fettle. He followed up his record-breaking strike in Matchday 1's win over Borussia Dortmund with a goal of the month contender on Matchday 2 against Hertha Berlin. Bremen, you have been warned.
It was a quiet summer of recruitment at the Weser-Stadion, but the Bremen management team already look to have made quite the signing in Alejandro Galvez (pictured). The Spaniard scored a brilliant goal in Matchday 2's draw with Hoffenheim to crown an impressive display in his favoured holding midfield role. With Leverkusen's glut of attacking midfielders looking to burst forward at pace, the 25-year-old will have to be at his best to help out his defence.
Schmidt (pictured): "We're only right at the start of the season but being top of the league is always nice. We want to make sure we stay there."
Dutt: "I don't believe that any team is completely settled by Matchday 3. If Leverkusen have any weaknesses on Friday, we'll find them."
Leverkusen come into this clash off the back of five straight wins. Two Bundesliga victories have taken them top of the league, while they cruised through Champions League qualifying and the DFB Cup, with all of their key attackers having notched at least once. Bremen have made a quieter start to the season with two Bundesliga draws and progressed in the cup with a 3-2 win after extra-time against FC Illertissen.
Current Bremen coach Dutt (pictured) had an ill-fated spell in charge of Leverkusen during the 2011/12 season, and may feel that he has unfinished business at the BayArena. His Bremen side defeated die Werkself 1-0 on Matchday 17 last season thanks to a Santiago Garcia strike, but then lost away on Matchday 34. Leverkusen needed a win to secure fourth spot and Champions League qualification back then, and goals from Ömer Toprak and Heung Min Son ensured they emerged as 2-1 victors.
Bayer Leverkusen: Leno - Jedvaj, Toprak, Spahic, Boenisch - Castro, Reinartz - Bellarabi, Calhanoglu, Son - Kießling
Werder Bremen: Wolf - Fritz, Prödl, Lukimya, Garcia - Galvez, Junuzovic - Hajrovic, Elia - di Santo, Petersen