Four wins on the bounce, with the last game ending 3-1 against a bogey team in Fürth with the previous seven home games against them failing to produce one win: FC Union Berlin have their tails up ahead of the DFB Cup second round tie at the BayArena on Tuesday (kick-off 18.30 CET). Last season Borussia Dortmund discovered Union Berlin could be an uncomfortable and determined opponent for big top-flight sides in one-off games – BVB needed a penalty shoot-out on their own turf to progress to the next round. And the Berliners head to Leverkusen in confident mood as goalkeeper Daniel Mesenhöler explained: "Leverkusen are very good opponents but if we have a really good day then we're in with a decent chance of going through."
Of course, the Werkself will be determined to avoid that under any circumstance. "Union are a well-organised side and make life extremely difficult for any opponent," declared defensive stalwart Sven Bender. And head coach Heiko Herrlich is firmly convinced his players will face a tough battle in the Cup on Tuesday. "We accept the role of favourites in this encounter but we must be aware we're facing an opponent who has nothing to lose and wants to cause an upset here," said the Werkself coach at the pre-match press conference at the media centre at the BayArena, broadcast live as usual on Bayer 04.de and on Faceboook.
Herrlich added: "It's a competition where you can't put things right after a defeat. So we need to be absolutely on our toes and fully focused on the game as the Berliners have a very strong squad and deservedly are in the leading group in the second division."
Bayer 04 will be without Tin Jedvaj (rehab) and Kevin Volland who suffered an ankle injury on Saturday at Mönchengladbach in a collision with the Borussia keeper Yann Sommer. Central defender Jonathan Tah is also suffering from a slight knock. "Jona should have recovered by tomorrow," said Herrlich who is considering making one or two changes but does not want to give anything away before the match: "I'm assuming we'll give several players a chance who have not had much time on the pitch recently."
Bayer 04 are expecting a crowd of 25,000 for the Cup tie against Union Berlin. 23,500 tickets have been sold so far and the Berliners are bringing 3,000 fans with them. Tickets will be available from the BayArena ticket offices on the night.
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