On the back of a 5-1 thrashing of Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen host high-flying Bundesliga 2 club Union Berlin in the second round of the DFB Cup on Tuesday (kick-off: 18:30CEST/16:30GMT).

Leverkusen come into the game on the back of an impressive win at local rivals Gladbach, putting five past the Foals in the second half. Kai Havertz was the star of the show with a hat-trick of assists for Sven Bender, Leon Bailey and Julian Brandt. Kevin Volland and Joel Pohjanpalo rounded off the emphatic result with strikes of their own. However, Die Werkself struggled to even reach this stage of the cup, needing extra-time to eventually beat third-tier Karlsruhe 3-0 in the first round.

Union also needed extra-time to make it to the second round after their match against fourth-division Saarbrücken ended 1-1 after 90 minutes. Forward Simon Hedlund eventually got the winner just after the 100-minute mark. The capital club are in hot form in the league though with four consecutive victories in Bundesliga 2, and currently find themselves fourth as they push for a first promotion to the Bundesliga. The Berliners are without former Schalke full-back Atsuto Uchida with an injury the Japan international sustained in training last week. Felix Kroos, the brother of former Bayern Munich midfielder Toni, is set to start on the bench at the BayArena.

Leverkusen: Leno – Henrichs, Tah, S. Bender, Wendell – Bailey, Baumgartlinger, Aranguiz, Brandt – Havertz, Alario
Absentees: Jedvaj (not match fit), Volland (foot)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich

Union: Mesenhöler – Trimmel, Leistner, Schönheim, Pedersen – Kreilach, Prömel – Skrzybski, Hartel, Hedlund – Polter
Absentees: Uchida (muscle)
Coach: Jens Keller

  • The only previous meeting between these sides was also in the second round of the DFB Cup in 2003/04.
  • Leverkusen won that one 5-0 in Berlin thanks to goals from Hanno Balitsch, Daniel Bierofka, Robson Ponte and Dimitar Berbatov (2).
  • Union were knocked out at this stage last year, but only on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Borussia Dortmund.
  • Die Werkself also fell at this round last season, losing on penalties at third-tier Sportfreunde Lotte after a 2-2 draw (a.e.t.).
  • Leverkusen have lifted the DFB Cup just once when they beat the reserves of Union’s cross-city rivals Hertha in 1992/93.
  • Union’s best finish in the cup was as runners-up to Schalke in 2000/01.

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