- Just 60 kilometres separate the two cities in Germany's west.
- Seven points is the gap between the two sides in the standings.
- Gladbach seeking first win under Dieter Hecking.
Leverkusen took a step in the right direction with their Matchday 17 win over 1. FSV Mainz 05 and they will be keen to build up a head of steam when they host local rivals Gladbach on Matchday 18, with just five points now separating Roger Schmidt’s men from a qualifying berth for Europe next season.
European football is the last thing on Dieter Hecking’s mind, on the other hand, as the Foals’ new coach seeks to lift his team away from the danger zone in this, his second game in charge. A draw in Darmstadt steadied the ship, but the former VfL Wolfsburg coach will be wanting more on Saturday as the bottom three threaten to draw Gladbach into a relegation battle.
- The last time Leverkusen started a new year with two wins was seven years ago under Jupp Heynckes.
- Hakan Calhanoglu scored Leverkusen’s first penalty of the season on Matchday 17 (they had missed all four awarded before that) and got his first brace for the Werkself.
- The Hinrunde is over, and Gladbach are still waiting to score a headed goal.
- The Foals have won three of their last four Bundesliga matches against Leverkusen - but each of those wins has come at home.
- Against Hertha, Leverkusen scored as often from set pieces (twice) as they had done in the first 16 matches of the season put together.
- It is over 20 years since Gladbach last kept a clean sheet in Leverkusen (0-0 on February 23rd, 1996).