Bayer Leverkusen vs Fortuna Dusseldorf

A place in the DFB-Pokal showpiece event is up for grabs as Bayer Leverkusen and Fortuna Dusseldorf face off against each other at the BayArena.

Runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen refused to give up their remarkable unbeaten run this season against Hoffenheim at the weekend, netting twice beyond the 87th minute to claim a 2-1 home win, extending their run at the table’s summit to 13 points. Xabi Alonso’s men have recently established themselves as ‘late-drama kings,’ netting six goals beyond the 85-minute mark in their last five competitive matches. Oddly enough, they’ve got on the scoresheet in this timeframe across their five most recent DFB-Pokal outings. In addition to being one step away from winning their first-ever Bundesliga title, Die Werkself could sweeten an outstanding campaign with their first DFB-Pokal triumph since 1992/93.

In the meantime, Fortuna Dusseldorf had to survive a penalty shoot-out drama to overcome fellow second-tier rivals St Pauli in the previous DFB-Pokal round in late January. They have since avoided defeat in seven of their eight competitive games (W4, D3), including a 3-1 away league win against Kaiserslautern at the weekend. The free-scoring visitors have netted 2+ goals in their last six outings across all competitions, suggesting they could punch above their weight this midweek. However, a six-game losing H2H streak douses any embers of optimism amidst their fight to conquer the DFB-Pokal for the first time since 1979/80. Nonetheless, connoisseurs of action-packed football should be in for a treat, with each of Dusseldorf’s seven away matches in 2024 featuring over 3.5 goals.

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