Our next opponents: Good Cup tie memories of Frankfurt

Bayer 04 play Eintracht Frankfurt for the second time in nine days on Tuesday 12 January (kick-off: 20.45 CET) – and thoughts turn to revenge after the defeat in the league. Up to now, there has only been one cup game between the two teams – and that came to a memorable conclusion…

The Werkself discovered how difficult it is to beat Eintracht Frankfurt first hand in a 2-1 defeat just after New Year. But it was well known before that that they are a hard nut to crack this season. Frankfurt have only lost two of 15 games in the Bundesliga this season – as few as the leading trio of Bayern, Leipzig and Bayer 04. Their next win came on Saturday – Eintracht beat Mainz away 2-0 with penalties from centre forward André Silva in their third league win in succession. And it was a prestigious three points: Frankfurt picked up their first win in their seventeenth away game at the neighbours from Mainz. "It does you good to end a run like that," said coach Adi Hütter after the game. "The better team won when you look at the 90 minutes."

Eintracht Frankfurt will be in confident mood ahead of the second clash with the Werkself in nine days – and they have really felt at home in the DFB Cup in recent years. Frankfurt have made the semi-finals in three of the past four seasons and in 2018 they went on to lift the trophy in the final against FC Bayern. Eintracht had a tough draw in the first round match in this season's competition. Playing against 1860 Munich, a top team in the third division, the Eagles were unable to relax at any point in the game and ended up with a narrow 2-1 win with goals from Silva and the now departed Bas Dost (Club Brugge) – and now they face the Werkself. "We've got every chance and we’ll do everything we can to go through," announced Hütter.

Kostic suspended – Rode returns

The Austrian coach has to manage without one of his most important players. Filip Kostic was sent off in the quarter-final victory against Werder Bremen last year just before the suspension due to coronavirus for a foul on former Leverkusen player Ömer Toprak and he was suspended for four DFB Cup ties. That means he is unable to play on Tuesday. The vacant position on the left wing will probably be taken by Steven Zuber who arrived from Hoffenheim in the summer. In contrast to the Bundesliga meeting, Sebastian Rode is able to play again. The midfielder served a one-match ban.

The fact the DFB Cup draw has thrown up Eintracht as the opponents could be a good omen from a Werkself perspective. Many supporters will be able to remember the only previous DFB Cup game between the two teams: Bayer 04 won 3-0 in Frankfurt in the semi-finals in March 1993 thanks to a brace from Andreas Thom and a goal from Ulf Kirsten. The win paved the way to Berlin – and what happened there is well known: Bayer 04 won the DFB Cup for the first and only time to date. Nobody in the Black and Red camp will have anything against history repeating itself…

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