Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen will square up against 2nd division outfit Fortuna Düsseldorf for a place in the DFB-Pokal final.

Fortuna Düsseldorf have had a dream run in the DFB-Pokal this season but in order to make it to the final, they will have to take down Bayer Leverkusen, who have not lost a game this season in all competitions.

Bayer Leverkusen have made it to the semi-finals on the back of a 3-2 win over VfB Stuttgart thanks to a 90th-minute winner by Jonathan Tah. It was not their best performance, but they did get the job done.

Die Werkself are already close to ending Bayern Munich’s dominance by winning the Bundesliga title, and a win here will help them get one step closer to another silverware. Xabi Alonso’s team have won each of their last four games in all competitions, and they will be confident of getting the right result here.

Fortuna Düsseldorf are pushing for a promotion to the Bundesliga. They are currently third in the second division and have a realistic chance of featuring in the German top flight starting next season. The visitors have won three out of their last four games and will look to ensure they put up a fight against Bayer Leverkusen.

The away side have made it to the semi-finals on the back of a win over FC St. Pauli, who are top of the second division. It was a closely fought encounter where Fortuna Düsseldorf came out on top via the penalty shootout.

Going up against the Bundesliga leaders won’t be easy, but they will look to give it their all as it will bring them a step closer to the DFB-Pokal title. Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics

Bayer Leverkusen

Xabi Alonso will be without three first-team players in this semi-final, with Arthur, Victor Boniface and Exequiel Palacios all unavailable. Apart from the trio, everyone else is available for selection for the Bundesliga leaders. Alonso is expected to stick to the 3-4-2-1 formation, where Matej Kovar will take charge in goal as he has been the preferred choice for cup games.

Edmond Tapsoba will feature alongside Jonathan Tah and Piero Hincapie in the heart of the defence. The trio will look to keep things tight at the back. Meanwhile, Jeremie Frimpong and Alejandro Grimaldo will feature as wing-backs. The duo will look for chances to join the attack.

Robert Andrich and Granit Xhaka will take charge in the centre of the park. The duo will look to control the tempo and dictate the pace of this game. Jonas Hofmann will start alongside Florian Wirtz as the two attacking midfielders just in behind Patrik Schick, who will lead the line for Bayer Leverkusen.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Kovar; Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapie; Frimpong, Andrich, Xhaka, Grimaldo; Hofmann, Wirtz; Schick

Bayer Leverkusen vs Fortuna Düsseldorf predicted XI

Fortuna Düsseldorf

The visitors do have a few injuries to worry about, with Daniel Bunk and Nicolas Gavory out injured. Meanwhile, Marcel Sobottka and Takashi Uchino are expected to be back in time for this fixture.

Fortuna Düsseldorf will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, where Florian Kastenmeier will be in goal. Matthias Zimmermann and Uchino will be the full-backs, while Tim Oberdorf and Jamil Siebert will feature in the heart of the defence.

The back four will look to keep it tight at the back, and they will have the support of Yannik Engelhardt and Ao Tanaka who will form the double pivot in the centre of the park. They will try to ensure Bayer Leverkusen do not end up dominating the proceedings.

Felix Klaus and Christos Tzolis will provide width to their attacks, while Shinta Appelkamp will feature as the attacking midfielder for the visitors. Marlon Mustapha will be leading the line for the German second division outfit.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Kastenmeier; Zimmermann, Oberdorf, Siebert, Uchino; Engelhardt, Tanaka; Klaus, Appelkamp, Tzolis; Mustapha

Bayer Leverkusen vs Fortuna Düsseldorf predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Bayer Leverkusen and Fortuna Düsseldorf have squared up against each other on 65 occasions. The visitors have won 28 of those meetings while the home team have won 20 times.
  • The two teams have faced each other in the DFB-Pokal twice and Düsseldorf have come out on top on both occasions.
  • Bayer Leverkusen have been unbeaten all season long, they have won 11 out of their 12 games.
  • Fortuna Dusseldorf have not lost in their last seven outings.
  • Xabi Alonso’s team have won each of their last six games at home.

Player to Watch

Granit Xhaka

Embed from Getty Images

Xhaka has turned out to be an exceptional signing for Bayer Leverkusen. Since joining the German outfit from Arsenal, the 31-year-old has been in exceptional form, and he has been Xabi Alonso’s go-to man in the centre of the park.

The Swiss international has featured in 37 matches for them and has racked up over 3,100 minutes of first-team football. The defensive midfielder has even contributed towards two goals. Alonso will hope the experienced campaigner once again steps up and gets the job done for his team.


Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Fortuna Düsseldorf might be underdogs in this fixture. But they will look to give it their all in search of a place in the final of the DFB-Pokal. However, unfortunately, they might not have enough in their tanks to take down Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen who haven’t lost even once this season. The Hard Tackle predicts an easy 3-0 win for the home team.

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