Bayern Munich travel to BayArena for cup battle against Leverkusen
Pep Guardiola takes Bayern Munich to BayArena for a DFB Pokal quarter-final clash with Bayer Leverkusen, where victory would move his swashbuckling side closer to a second successive domestic double.
Brilliant Bayern are odds-on at 4/5 to triumph over 90 minutes after downing Braunschweig and Hamburg with ease in previous rounds, and are unbeaten in 11 of their last 12 outings across all competitions.
The German juggernauts have notched up 12 goals in their past four tussles, so are fantastic value at 3/1 to school Leverkusen by three or more.
Visitors Munich are expected to be without several key men, including midfield anchor Bastian Schweinsteiger, adaptable David Alaba and rampant wingmen Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Despite these setbacks, however, Guardiola’s guys should still have enough quality to come out best at the BayArena.
Skipper Philipp Lahm and Sebastien Rhode, a potential midfield stand-in, should help shield the defence and are 17/10 to help Bayern’s backline keep a clean sheet.
Further forward, Guardiola’s abundance of attacking riches includes prolific Poland poacher Robert Lewandowski, who grabbed a winner against former club Borussia Dortmund last time out, and is 9/2 to net last again.
Goal machine Thomas Muller, meanwhile, has 12 strikes and 13 assists for the season so far, and is a sensational 7/1 to add to his tally by bagging a brace or better. Mario Gotze is 5/1 to get in on the act as well by drawing first blood.
Hosts Leverkusen should be a much sterner test than Bayern’s previous DFB Pokal opponents this campaign though, as the Munich men only managed a narrow 1-0 win in the Bundesliga.
The hosts have been beaten just once in their last six duels with Bayern at the BayArena across all competitions, so are a tempting 10/3 to complete a giant killing on home turf.
Three of the last five battles between these two teams at Leverkusen have also ended on even terms, so odds of 13/5 for a draw in 90 minutes are also excellent value.
Roger Schmidt’s side have built considerable momentum following five Bundesliga triumphs on the trot, and should be in high spirits following their 4-0 thrashing of Hamburg last time out.
Striker Stefan Kiessling was one of two players to bag a brace in that rout, so is 12/1 to hit two or more again, or 15/2 to fire home the first.
South Korea superstar Son Heung-Min has been rested recently but should feature, while Berlin-born Karim Bellarabi is 10/3 in the anytime market.