- Leverkusen looking to end Hinrunde on a high.
- Hosts aiming to end season in European spots.
- Hertha currently third, but boast poor record at BayArena.
Watch: Chicharito and Co. are determined to get off to a good start in 2017:
With more losses (seven) than wins (six) ahead of the winter break, Leverkusen will be looking to even up their account when they close out the Hinrunde at home on Sunday. Just prior to the winter break, Bayer drew at 1. FC Köln, but had lost at home to relegation-threatened FC Ingolstadt 04 a few days earlier. The team's preparations for the restart have shown promise for improvement on their current ninth place. The squad is fit and talismanic striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez returned to goal-scoring ways in a friendly against Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro at the Florida Cup.
For their part, Hertha will seek to build on finishing 2016 in third place in the standings. Pal Dardai’s men had an up-and-down December: they picked up wins against VfL Wolfsburg and SV Darmstadt 98, but lost to SV Werder Bremen and RB Leipzig in between. The Old Lady's personnel situation is rather trickier than Leverkusen's: Salomon Kalou is away at the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 and Mitchell Weiser remains out of action.
- Leverkusen have just 21 points on the board, their worst return after 16 Bundesliga games in 11 years.
- Only in 1974/75 have Hertha had more points on the board (32 – converted to three points for a win) than they currently do (30).
- Leverkusen have a balanced record in home games (W3, D2, L3).
- Just like last season, Hertha spent the winter break in third place. They eventually dropped down to seventh in 2015/16.
- 'Chicharito' is without a Bundesliga goal in ten games.
- Roger Schmidt's side have won five of their six games against the capital club since the latter's promotion back to the Bundesliga in 2013.
- Hertha concede on average two goals per game against Bayer (80 in 40 matches).
- Vedad Ibisevic is yet to win on eight visits to the BayArena (D1 L7).