Union fight for Cup semi-final berth in Leverkusen

Match Preview:

Mon, 02. March 2020
Union fight for Cup semi-final berth in Leverkusen

1. FC Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen will compete for a place in this season’s semi-finals of the DFB Pokal on Wednesday (18:30) at the BayArena.

Urs Fischer’s team reached the last eight for the first time in 19 years — the last occasion Union contested the final of the tournament.

Review: A well-earned point at home, Leverkusen hold RB Leipzig

Goals from Sebastian Andersson and Marvin Friedrich put 1. FC Union Berlin into a two-goal lead against Wolfsburg on Sunday. Andersson took his record to 10 for the season, while Friedrich’s header was his first goal in Germany’s top division. However, Wolfsburg fought back in the second half with goals from Yannick Gerhardt and Wout Weghorst. One more point takes Union past the 30 mark with 10 matches to play. In the DFB Pokal, Fischer’s side have reached the last eight with wins over Germania Halberstadt, SC Freiburg and in the last round at SC Verl.

Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen took a point at RB Leipzig on Sunday to consolidate their position in fifth place. Leon Bailey scored after 29 minutes, but Patrick Schick equalised a couple of minutes later for Julian Nagelsmann’s team. Domestically, things are going well for Leverkusen with two points to Borussia Mönchengladbach in fourth and four off Borussia Dortmund in third. The one-time DFB Pokal winners have seen off Alemannia Aachen, Paderborn and Stuttgart on their way to the quarter-finals. Peter Bosz’s team remain in three competitions, including the UEFA Europa League after the Werkself defeated FC Porto in the Round of 32.

Record: Leverkusen boast strong record

1. FC Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen have met twice in the German Cup — the last in 2017. Leverkusen ran out 4-1 winners after the match was tied by Dennis Daube after half-time. In 2003, Leverkusen won 5-0 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in the second round of the competition. So far this season, the Werkself have taken six points from six against Union Berlin and in two different circumstances. Urs Fischer described his performance as "not good" at the BayArena in the 0-2 loss, but praised his side for an "excellent" performance in the narrow 2-3 defeat where Karim Bellarabi netted in stoppage time to win the game.

Personnel: 23-man squad to Leverkusen and Freiburg

Without revealing his cards, the Union coach explained that he would make "one or two changes" to his starting XI for the game in Leverkusen. "There will be fresh players in for sure," added the Swiss boss. 

Service: Strong backing

More than 2,000 Union supporters will make the trip to Leverkusen.

Fischer’s team will leave for Freiburg on Thursday, training in the south-west of Germany, before the match on Saturday and return to the capital.