Preview: Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern München

Bayern

Bayer 04 Leverkusen will be eyeing a spot in the DFB-Pokal final when they host newly-crowned Bundesliga champions FC Bayern München on Tuesday.

DFB Pokal
17/18 April 2018
Semi-Finals
Kick-off: 20H45 local time/02H45 HKT
Venue: BayArena

Head-to-head summary

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Leverkusen 81 17 16 48
Bayern 81 48 16 17

Previous encounter

Leverkusen 1-3 Bayern 12/01/18 (Bundesliga)

Leverkusen goalscorers: K. Volland (70′)
Bayern goalscorers: Javi Martinez (32′), F. Ribery (59′), J. Rodriguez (90’+1)

Players to watch

Kevin Volland is in top form for Leverkusen. The 25-year-old striker bagged a hat-trick in the 4-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. He has scored 14 goals in 31 appearances across all competitions.

Robert Lewandowski should come back into the first XI for the clash after being rested during Bayern’s 5-1 thrashing of Borussia Monchengladbach. The Polish marksman has amassed 36 goals in 41 games this season.

Team form and manager quotes

Die Werkself have hit a purple patch recently and should be brimming with confidence ahead of the match. They beat RB Leipzig 4-1 away from home before another 4-1 win against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

The back-to-back victories lifted Leverkusen up to third position in the table, only ahead of Dortmund on goal difference, and they will be eager to maintain the momentum into the cup as they target a first final since 2009.

Leverkusen manager Heiko Herrlich told the press before the game: “We have further developed since the 18th matchday (when Bayern beat Leverkusen 3-1) and have already overcome some setbacks together. My team is strong and we want to build even further on RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt.”

Meanwhile, Die Roten are still on track to clinch a treble this season. They recently secured their sixth consecutive league title and are now only one step away from another cup final.

Jupp Heynckes’ side are also in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, where they are set to face defending champions Real Madrid, who knocked them out of the competition last term.

Bayern claimed the DFB-Pokal trophy in 2016 but were knocked out at the semi-final stage by Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

“Leverkusen are an excellent team on the counter, they play with lots of creativity and technical finesse. Emotions are always decisive in the cup – tomorrow will be a real treat for the fans,” Heynckes said in his pre-match press conference.

Team news

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Leverkusen will be missing Wendell, but they may bring defender Jonathan Tah back into the team after he missed the weekend’s clash with a muscle problem.

Bayern are expected to restore Robert Lewandowski to the starting XI, despite Sandro Wagner’s brace at the weekend. Arturo Vidal, Kingsley Coman and Manuel Neuer remain sidelined.

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