FC Bayern Munich are about to reach a milestone 250th DFB-Pokal game in the club's history. In the semi-final against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, Jupp Heynckes’ side are still heading for a potential treble.
The reigning German champions’ record in this competition remains impressive. From their 249 games to date, they have won 187 in 90 minutes, 25 have been all square after 90 minutes and the Munich-based club have lost 37.
World Cup winner Thomas Müller is still not satisfied despite the fact his side have won the Bundesliga once more and reached the semi-final stages of the DFB-Pokal and Champions League: “We want to keep going and push ourselves as far as we can in the remaining competitions. We have a lot of desire to do well in these competitions.”
Bayern have won four out of five DFB-Pokal clashes. The only loss came in the quarterfinal stage of the 2008/2009 season. Leverkusen ran out 4-2 winners with Arturo Vidal scoring for Leverkusen on that day.
Since then, the visitors have not failed to reach the last four of the DFB-Pokal. This year, FCB reached the semi-finals by beating third tier SC Paderborn 6-0. Since the loss to Leverkusen, the 18 time Pokal winners have won a record 25 of their last 35 away games in the competition.
Leverkusen most recently reached the final in 2009. Heiko Herrlich’s side reached the semi-final after seeing off Werder Bremen 4-2 in extra-time, despite being 2-0 down. After coming second in various competitions, the DFB-Pokal champions in 1993 are craving silverware. “Bayern are favourites of course,” said Leverkusen’s Germany international Julian Brandt to Eurosport, “But we want to get in their faces and get into the final, there’s no doubt about that.”
Leverkusen have very rarely managed to defeat Bayern before. In the past 12 clashes, the Werkself have only won one (four draws, seven losses). That win came in 2014/2015 season with Bayern having already won the Bundesliga title. This season, Bayer 04 were beaten 3-1 at home by Bayern, their first home loss to FCB in almost five years in 90 minutes. However in recent weeks, 4-1 wins over Leipzig and Frankfurt show a clear upturn in form for Leverkusen.
In the semi-final, Bayer will have to go without Wendell due to injury. Sven Bender has a good chance of appearing after recovering for injury. Lucas Alario will also be able to feature despite being suspended from Bundesliga action. Bayern will continue to miss Manuel Neuer but David Alaba returned to action at this weekend.
FCB head coach, Jupp Heynckes, will level with Udo Lattek when he makes his 76th DFB-Pokal appearance on the touchline on Tuesday evening. The 72-year-old managed Leverkusen between 2009 and 2011 and only Otto Rehhagel (92 games) has been on the touchline for more DFB-Pokal matches. Bayer Leverkusen head coach, Heiko Herrlich, is hoping to reach his own milestone on Tuesday night – he has never been able to defeat FC Bayern as a head coach.