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The Black and Reds won the last two encounters: In October 1995, there was also a Round of 16 tie that ended in a 4-1 win on penalties after a 4-4 draw after extra time: Bayer 04 secured a 1-0 win in the first round in September 2002. The only time RW Essen came out on top was a 4-1 win in round three in the first DFB Cup meeting in 1981/82.
The Werkself go into Tuesday night's game as the clear favourites – Bayer 04 are in the Round of 16 for the seventh time in the last eight years and have always progressed in the cup against teams from the fourth tier or below – but Essen have already caused cup upsets against two teams this season. "In Bielefeld and Düsseldorf, they have knocked two good opponents out of the competition. RWE are a good team and we have prepared accordingly. At the end of the day, we don't want to be on the end of the next upset so we’ll have to produce a good performance tomorrow," said Peter Bosz at the pre-match press conference.
It could well be match of the season for Essen but "it's also an important game for us," Bosz made clear and he is expecting a defensive opponent. "I think we'll push them back. Essen will be compact in defence and hope to provide a threat in counter-attacks. Therefore, we have to be well organised defensively across the pitch. And, of course, score goals."
Although the results in the league have recently been below par, "we don't need to panic. We analyse what we've done wrong and then work on our game in training," assured the head coach. "Tomorrow we’ll have to take our first chance if possible and then create further goalscoring opportunities and that's how we’ll start."
There will be a late decision on who will be going in search of goals for the Werkself. A number of players suffered knocks in the Bundesliga away game at RB Leipzig. Moussa Diaby, who went off on 59 minutes after a kick on the knee, did not train on Sunday, just like Leon Bailey, who is ruled out due to illness. Only if they can complete the final pre-match training session will they be an option for the squad on Tuesday night. The final session will also be crucial for Sven Bender as well as new signing Jeremie Frimpong who was on the training ground for the first time with the team on Sunday.
In principle, Bosz is open to changes to his team but did emphasise: "We want to win. Therefore, I'll use players who I think can help us most."
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