German Cup: Holders Bayern face Leverkusen, Dortmund host Hoffenheim | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 06.04.2015
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German Cup: Holders Bayern face Leverkusen, Dortmund host Hoffenheim

Bayern Munich's cup credentials will be put to the test on Wednesday with a trip to Leverkusen. Dortmund, meanwhile, need to end a serious goal drought to have any chance of reaching the semis.

In the exceptional fly-on-the-wall book by Marti Perarnau on Pep Guardiola's first season at Bayern Munich, the 44-year-old coach notes that titles are won in the first three months of the season and the last three.

Now, Bayern Munich is entering a crucial phase in its battle to secure the treble. With league matters as good as concluded for the champions-elect who boast a 10-point lead over Wolfsburg, the German Cup presents an immediate challenge.

The holders travel to Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday where they can expect a head-to-head confrontation against one of the best pressing sides in the division.

Leverkusen, fielding a weakened team, thrashed Hamburg 4-0 and head into this encounter with confidence on the back of five straight wins without conceding a goal. "We want to advance but we know it will be hard," said Leverkusen's Gonzalo Castro who scored twice at the weekend.

"We know what we can do and we can play with confidence. Our counter attacks are extremely fast and good. After our 4-0 win and five straight victories our confidence is very high."

Bayern, who beat Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, are still without David Alaba, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Holger Badstuber.

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger could also miss out in midweek after he visited club doctor Müller-Wohlfahrt on Monday to examine an injury from the weekend.

Robert Lewandowski's first-half goal secured Bayern's second win-in-a-row over Dortmund which means the Bavarians haven't lost when going ahead in 141 Bundesliga matches - the last time in February 2011 in Cologne.

"Winning is a boost. We'll have to see if we can carry the momentum with us to Leverkusen," said Manuel Neuer while Lewandowski added: "It's a crucial month, every game matters. We want to win them all."

Last chance of silverware

Fußball 1. Bundesliga 27. Spieltag Borussia Dortmund - Bayern München

Klopp and Dortmund players lose their seven-game unbeaten run

On Tuesday, Borussia Dortmund looks to bounce back from Saturday's defeat at home to Bayern when Hoffenheim travel to Signal Iduna Park in the last-eight.

Lewandowski ended Dortmund's seven-game unbeaten record at the weekend and leaves Jürgen Klopp's men with another mental hurdle to be prepared for the midweek Cup encounter.

"In the German Cup, we still have a lot to do," said Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer. "We want to pull through, but Hoffenheim stands in the way. If we concentrate for the full 90 minutes, then we can come through," he added.

Dortmund is still without Nuri Sahin, Oliver Kirch and Lukasz Piszczek but hasn't scored in more than four hours of football at home.

For the second consecutive stage of the German Cup, Borussia Mönchengladbach travel to the lowest-ranked team in the tournament looking to avoid an upset on Wednesday when they face Arminia Bielefeld.

Bielefeld, the table-toppers in the third-tier and set for a return to the second division, dispatched of Werder Bremen 3-1 last month.

Norbert Meier's team have won their last nine matches on home soil and unbeaten in all competitions at the boisterous Schüco Arena since August last year.

"Gladbach is a super opponent," admitted Manuel Junglas who scored two goals against Bremen in the last round. "We're really looking forward to this game. Only when everything fits, then we will have a chance."

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg take on Freiburg on Tuesday evening with the visitors buoyed from back-to-back wins in the battle for survival.

Wolfsburg remains second and Andre Schürrle scored his first goal for the club in the win over Stuttgart.

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