After an impressive run of games in the second division, Union Berlin have the opportunity to test themselves in the DFB Pokal against Bayer Leverkusen.
More than 3,000 fans from Köpenick and Berlin will head to Nordrhein-Westfalen, hoping to book a place in the last 16 of the cup.
While Union are understandably in confident mood, Leverkusen are similarly bullish about their recent form. Heiko Herrlich’s star-studded side bounced back from a 1-0 deficit to thrash Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 on the road at the weekend. Union’s 3-1 win over Greuther Fürth was similarly dominant, but the challenge on Tuesday will be another level.
“There are no B teams – we have good players,” emphasized coach Jens Keller, who will ring a couple of changes to bring some freshness after a demanding few weeks. Atsuto Uchida and Kenny Redondo are still injured, while Kristian Pedersen could return after missing the win over Fürth.
“Leverkusen is a top team. We have to perform well above ourselves,” said Keller. Union are no stranger to similar DFB Pokal experiences, taking on Borussia Dortmund in the same round last season. Leverkusen, meanwhile, went down 3-1 in the tournament last term at the hands of Werder Bremen in the quarterfinal.
Keller and his team will be supported by a tremendous away support, with hundreds of fans heading via a special train, organised by the Eisernen Virus e.V. fan organisation. Departure is scheduled for 09:43 from Berlin-Lichtenberg station, while subject to delay, the return leg is planned for 21:07 at Leverkusen station.
Stadium gates will open at 16:30, with tickets still available for the home and away sections via the Leverkusen box office. Our portable merchandising van will be on site with a range of club items, as well as, the special cup collection ahead of the Leverkusen clash.