Bayer 04 have faced Paderborn five times before in competitive action, remaining undefeated and winning each of the last four. The only previous DFB-Pokal encounter saw Leverkusen win 1-0 at home in the 2019/20 second round. The Werkself are this season’s top scorers in the cup with 13 goals, while Paderborn boast the competition’s best shot conversion rate of 67 percent.
Victory tonight would see the Werkself into the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal for the first time since that aforementioned 2019/20 campaign. That year it was achieved with a 2-1 win at home to VfB Stuttgart in the last 16. As for Paderborn, they would equal their best-ever cup campaign if they were to progress. Only twice before have they reached the final eight (2017/18 and 2018/19). However, on all three occasions they have faced a Bundesliga club at this stage, they have been eliminated.
Paderborn have had an up-and-down campaign so far. An indifferent start to league proceedings over the first five matches was followed by a five-game unbeaten run. However, back-to-back defeats at home to Nürnberg (3-1) and then away at promoted Elversberg (4-1) halted their climb. Their sixth defeat of the season saw Paderborn slip to 12th in the standings and under pressure going into Sunday’s game at Hannover. They won 1-0, rising up to 10th in the table.
Things have been far more serene in the DFB-Pokal so far. The East Westphalians began their campaign with a commanding 7-0 win at fourth-tier Energie Cottbus before a statement result in the second round as they knocked out last season’s semi-finalists Freiburg (3-1). You can find out more about today’s opponents in our profile piece.
Anyone wanting to read key information before the game should take a look at the new Werkself Live. The matchday programme, offering the most important facts and stats on the game in compact form, is available at the BayArena. Alternatively, it is available free online HERE.
The German FA (DFB) has appointed Tobias Stieler as today’s referee. The 42-year-old has overseen a total of 26 Werkself fixtures before, resulting in 20 wins, three draws and three defeats. His assistants are Christian Gittelmann and Robert Kempter.
VAR is also now in use from this stage onwards, with Philipp Hüwe the video assistant. Goal-line technology is also being used.
As usual, Werkself Radio is available for anybody unable to be at today's game. The audio broadcast in German begins 30 minutes before kick-off. In addition, the live text update service will keep you up-to-date to ensure you don't miss any of the key match action. Both Werkself Radio and the live text update service are available on bayer04.de and in the Bayer 04 app.
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