#B04FCU – Countdown to kick-off

The last home game in the DFB Cup for Bayer 04 was 623 days ago in the 2015/16 season at the quarter-final stage against Werder Bremen. That match ended in a 3-1 defeat. Tonight the Werkself entertain second division FC Union Berlin under floodlights with an 18.30 CET kick-off. Frank Willenborg is the referee for the second round tie against the team currently lying second in division two. Countdown to kick-off...

The Werkself in red

Heiko Herrlich's team clocked up the first away win of the season on Saturday with a fantastic 5-1 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach. The Werkself played in their red away strip. Tonight, Bayer 04 are looking to extend the run in red and will again play in the all red kit. The visitors from Berlin, who knocked out fourth division FC Saarbrücken in the first round will play in black.

Reunion after 14 years

The Werkself and Union Berlin have met once before. That was on 29 October 2003, also in the second round of the DFB Cup. The Berliners were at home back  then. The Werkself inflicted a 5-0 win on the second division side at their Alte Försterei ground – Hanno Balitsch, Dimitar Berbatov (2), Daniel Bierofka and Robson Ponte scored for Bayer 04 then managed by Klaus Augenthaler. Moreover: The only other team to win by the same margin against Union in the DFB Cup was Werder Bremen in August 2009.

Bad run for Berliners

Union Berlin sprang a surprise in 2000/01 when they reached the DFB Cup final only to lose 2-0 against Bundesliga side Schalke 04. The club from the east of the capital were not able to build on that success. In the following seasons they were knocked out twice in the Round of 16, eight times in the first round and four times in the second. This is the eighth time Union Berlin have been drawn against a Bundesliga side and the matches against teams from Germany's top flight have not been a great success for Union – the last six ties have all gone in favour of the team from the Bundesliga. The Werkself will be happy to see that run continue. The Berlin side were knocked out in the second round last term in a brave performance against Borussia Dortmund that ended in a 3-0 defeat on penalties.

Problems against underdogs

Many Werkself fans will have bad memories of last season's cup campaign: the 2-2 scoreline after extra time at Sportfreunde Lotte resulted in a penalty shoot-out that the third division side won 4-3 in front of their own fans to go through to the Round of 16. For Bayer 04 that was the sixth exit from the DFB Cup against teams from lower divisions in the past eleven years (against second division MSV Duisburg (05/06), FC St. Pauli (07/08), FC Kaiserslautern (09/10 and 13/14), Dynamo Dresden (11/12) plus last season's defeat against third division Lotte. However, Bayer 04 have come out on top 17 times in the last 27 cup ties against second division sides.

Brandt's impressive cup Record

Julian Brandt is set to make his ninth DFB Cup appearance against the team from Berlin. The 21-year-old can look back on an impressive record: in his last eight matches the Werkself number ten was involved in nine goals (one goal, eight assists). Brandt contributed two assists two months ago in the 3-0 first round win away to Karlsruher SC.

Good memories for Pohjanpalo

Joel Pohjanpalo played a large part in progressing against Karlsruhe when he scored to make it 2-0. The 23-year-old Finn has scored five times against Union Berlin in his career to date – with his former clubs VfR Aalen and Fortuna Düsseldorf. The overall record is on his side: three wins, one defeat and a draw. Given Kevin Volland is sidelined through injury, the chances have risen of the Finland international getting a game. His first double in Germany was scored by the Bayer 04 super sub in May 2014 – In a 3-0 home win  for Aalen against Union.

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