Here is our preview of Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal quarter-finals clash between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart, including predicted lineups.
Only three Bundesliga teams remain in the DFB-Pokal quarterfinals, and two of them will meet on Tuesday night when Bayer Leverkusen host VfB Stuttgart.
Both teams are enjoying highly successful seasons, with Leverkusen leading the Bundesliga and Stuttgart sensationally sitting in third place.
They last met in December, drawing 1-1 in Stuttgart courtesy of goals from Chris Führich and Florian Wirtz.
Leverkusen last rested key players Jeremie Frimpong, Jonas Hofmann and Patrik Schick in their 2-0 win over Darmstadt on Saturday, with an eye not only on Tuesday’s cup match, but also on Saturday’s highly-anticipated top-flight clash with Bayern Munich.
The trio are expected to be back in the Leverkusen line-up on Tuesday, while Matej Kovar, who has seen plenty of action in the Europa League and DFB-Pokal, is likely to start in goal in place of Lukas Hradecky.
Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso could also hand a start to Edmond Tapsoba, with the Burkina Faso international an option to replace Josip Stanisic at the back following his return from the Africa Cup of Nations.
While Leverkusen have no fresh injury concerns, Stuttgart are sweating over the fitness of Chris Führich, Maximilian Mittelstädt and Anthony Roualt.
Both Führich and Mittelstädt were forced off with minor knocks in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Freiburg, while Roualt suffered a nose injury and could be forced to play wearing a mask.
Hiroki Ito and Serhou Guirassy are expected to be back in the squad and could give the Swabians a big boost after returning from the Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations, respectively.
Click here to see our predicted Leverkusen vs. Stuttgart lineups.