Eintracht have a knack of seeing off highly fancied opponents in the DFB Cup. Around this time last year, for example, the Eagles followed up a 2-0 win over Leipzig in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 success in the last 16 of the cup a few days later. This time they’re away from home, although of course there will be no fans in the stadium.
Confident and realistic
Adi Hütter is currently balancing a fair degree of confidence with a healthy dose of realism. “We can and should aim high, but there’s still a long way to go,” the head coach said. “Leverkusen will be the favourites on Tuesday but we have every chance of getting a result and we’ll be doing everything we can to go through.”
Frankfurt certainly know what it takes to progress in the DFB Cup, regardless of who they are up against. After going all the way to the final against Dortmund in 2017, the Eagles then went one better the following year when they lifted the trophy at the expense of Bayern. Two years later, those two teams crossed swords in the semis, with SGE edged out 2-1. The only recent blip was an unexpected first-round defeat away to Ulm in 2018.
Form on Eintracht’s side
Two months ago, things were looking markedly less positive than they are now. Eintracht were at the start of their run of draws – having already registered four plus two wins in the opening seven matches – while Bayer were among the early pace-setters. The new year has brought a new set of circumstances, however. The Eagles have won three in a row – more than they managed in the first 12 matchdays in total – while Leverkusen currently find themselves without a win in their past three league matches.
Kick-off: Tuesday 12. January, 20:45 CET, Round 2, DFB Cup, 2020/21.
Stadium: BayArena, Leverkusen.