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Professionals, 7. December 2017

Man for the opener

Kevin Volland is currently the top German goal-scorer in the Bundesliga and the striker has had a significant role to play in the success of his team.

For statistical reasons alone, VfB will need to prevent one particular issue in the clash with Bayer 04 Leverkusen this Friday evening: That Kevin Volland gives the side from the banks of the Rhine a 1-0 lead. Whenever the 25-year-old has opened the scoring for the Werkself during the course of this season – five times thus far – Leverkusen have remained unbeaten (three wins, two draws). In the last four outings for coach Heiko Herrlich’s men, Kevin Volland was first to score on three occasions.

On match-day 4 of the current campaign, the ten-time German international netted for the first time this season – going on to score a brace – against SC Freiburg. The 4-0 win over Freiburg was also Leverkusen’s first victory of the season. Since then the goal-getter has added nine more goals to his account and, notching up a third of the goals scored by the Bayer eleven this season, he has hit the target more often than any other German striker in the league. Volland has proven a vitally important element in the success of the Werkself, who haven’t lost a game since matchday 6. And it’s not only Volland’s goals that have drawn praise from Bayer coach Heiko Herrlich. "Kevin holds a very high standing with me, because he also does a great pressing job."

The nine game unbeaten run – four wins, five draws - has seen Leverkusen spring from fourteenth place on match-day 5 to ninth place after fourteen outings – just three points adrift of fourth placed Mönchengladbach. This Friday evening, Leverkusen’s positive run will be put to the test by VfB. The visitors will be without Wendell (suspended) and Charles Aranguiz (muscle sinew tear to the calf) for the game in Stuttgart.