PREVIEW: Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich: Bayern in the running for domestic double

Bayer Leverkusen will face recently-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for the honours of the DFB Pokal on Saturday night in Berlin’s historic Olympiastadion.

It will be only the fourth time Bayer Leverkusen have appeared in a domestic cup final, having cemented their place at the coveted event with a 0-3 thrashing on the road against fourth-tier 1. FC Saarbrucken. Goals from Moussa Diaby, Lucas Alario and Karim Bellarabi ensured Die Werkself were spared of any blushes at Ludwigsparkstadion.

Bayern Munich arrive in the capital with 16 wins from their last 16 matches and a record eighth consecutive Bundesliga title. They survived a valiant semifinal showing from fellow Bundesliga residents Eintracht Frankfurt and edged a 2-1 victory to be in with a chance of bringing the Pokal back to Bavaria for a 20th time.

Teams news

Leverkusen will be without the services of midfielder Karim Bellarabi. The German has chalked up four goals in all competitions this term, but suffered an injury in the semifinal clash with Saarbrucken and is yet to recover.

Corentin Tolisso picked up an injury during the coronavirus hiatus and is yet to feature since the restart. He is not expected to make an appearance on Saturday. Niklas Sule is also ruled out through long-suffered problems.

Predicted line-ups

Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky; Sinkgraven, S. Bender, Tapsoba, L. Bender; Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger; Bailey, Havertz, Diaby; Volland. (4-2-3-1)

Bayern Munich: Neuer; Davies, Boateng, Alaba, Pavard; Goretzka, Kimmich; Gnabry, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski, (4-2-3-1)

Ones to watch

Kai Havertz

Leverkusen will be looking to utilise highly sought-after youngster Kai Havertz if they are to cause an upset in Berlin. Havertz’s eye for a crucial pass, coupled with youthful pace, has seen Die Werkself reach the Europa League. The 21-year-old has notched up 16 goals and nine assists in the 2019-20 campaign.

Leon Goretzka

Goretzka was the subject of much discussion upon the return of the Bundesliga as the 25-year-old had clearly been working on his physique during the coronavirus outbreak. The German international is a far bigger player in stature than he once was, and, with his renewed style of play, has found the net three times since the restart.

Previous meetings

Each side traded blows in the league this season. Ten-man Leverkusen squeezed past Munich at the Allianz Arena with a 1-2 win way back in November, while the reverse fixture saw Bayern trounce Die Werkslef 2-4 at BayArena in early June.

Where to watch on TV

The final kicks off at 19:00 BST on BT Sport 1.

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