Bayer Leverkusen host Bayern in the semi-final of the DFB Cup with a place in the Berlin final up for grabs and thoughts of yet Bayern another treble for Jupp Heynckes on the line on Tuesday (kick-off: 8:45 PM CEST/6:45 PM GMT/ 2:45 PM EST).
Leverkusen come into this semi-final with a five-point cushion in fourth place in the Bundesliga, so can turn their hopes to a possible first cup final since 2009 as well as the prospect of UEFA Champions League football next season. Die Werkself are up against a Bayern team on the hunt for yet another treble after clinching the Bundesliga title over a week ago, but boss Heiko Herllich will be boosted by some welcome returns. Lucas Alario is available in the cup despite his Bundesliga suspension for a red card against Cologne, so the Argentine may start alongside the red-hot Kevin Volland on the back of his hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt. Kai Havertz is set to be rested after his impressive display on Saturday, but defender Jonathan Tah is likely to be fit after pulling out of the weekend’s win with a muscle problem during the warm-up.
The Bundesliga champions are set to name a full-strength team for this semi-final after making seven changes for Saturday’s 5-1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Sandro Wagner continued his impressive scoring run with a brace in that game, but should give way to top scorer Robert Lewandowski for this tie. James Rodriguez, who scored a stunning free-kick on his previous visit to Leverkusen, should be restored to the starting XI. Arturo Vidal had hoped to be fit to face his former team but had to cut short training on Sunday with a recurrence of a knee problem and is unlikely to be risked. Otherwise, Heynckes has a fully fit squad to choose from minus long-term absentees Manuel Neuer and Kingsley Coman as he looks to reach a third consecutive DFB Cup final as a coach.
Leverkusen: Leno – L. Bender (c), S. Bender, Tah – Henrichs, Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger, Bailey – Brandt – Volland, Alario
Absentees: Wendell (ankle)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Bayern: Ulreich – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Martinez, James – Robben, Müller (c), Ribery – Lewandowski
Absentees: Neuer (foot), Coman (ankle), Vidal (knee)
Coach: Jupp Heynckes