Bayer Leverkusen - 1. FC Kaiserslautern Preview: Schmidt's side keen to maintain cup hopes
Image credit: Kicker

Leverkusen is going through a mixed patch right now, winning two consecutive games against Atletico Madrid and Freiburg – both times 1-0. Roger Schmidt’s side sit fourth in the Bundesliga and will look to make it three consecutive wins.

Kaiserslautern have won 3 of their 4 games this year, including 2-1 win against Furth, putting themselves in a solid position to play Bundesliga football next season. They are currently 3rd in Bundesliga 2 they are level on points with Darmstadt for second. The visitors have been on a poor run of form on the road, winning just 2 out of their 11 matches away from home.

Team News:

Leverkusen may choose to shuffle the lineup, with the absences of Bender (injured ankle) and Son (suspension) are ruled out of the game. But Gonzalo Castro can finally be re-selected following his dead leg.

Kaiserlautern will be without Dominique Heintz, who suffered tear in his hamstring in their 0-2 loss against FSV Frankfurt.

Managers:

Bayer Leverkusen: Roger Schmidt

Roger Schmidt aged 47, was born in Kierspe, Germany.

Roger Schmidt began his managerial career at Delbrücker SC before having spells at Preußen Münster, SC Paderborn 07, Red Bull Salzburg before arriving at the Leverkusen hot seat.

He won the Austrian Football Bundesliga (13/14) and Austrian Cup (13/14) for Red Bull Salzburg.

At Leverkusen he’s won fifteen games, losing seven out of his thirty-three games in charge thus far giving him a 45% win percentage.

FC Kaiserslautern: Kosta Runjaić

Kosta Runjaić aged 43, was born in Vienna, Austria.

Runjaić began his managerial career at SV Darmstadt 98 succeeding Živojin Juškić helping them to promotion to 3.Liga, he then was appointed MSV Duisburg before being appointed Kaiserslautern’s managerial role in September 2013.

He has won twenty-eight of his fifty-six games for Kaiserslautern, he has lost twelve games while in charge of Die roten Teufel.

Referee:

Guido Winkmann will be tonight’s referee. ​

Winkmann, now aged 41, was born in Kerken, Germany.

Winkmann started his refereeing career in 2001, and in 2004 he was promoted to the 2. Bundeliga. In 2011 he was promoted to the elite group of referees in the Bundesliga. He was referee in Eintracht Frankfurts 4-4 draw with Hertha Berlin.

He has awarded sixty-nine yellow cards and brandished two red cards, this season.

Previous Meetings:

Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 FC Kaiserslautern (Kießling, Rolfes, Reinartz; Derstroff)[11.04.2012]

FC Kaiserslautern 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen (Ballack, Sam) [18.11.2012]

FC Kaiserslautern 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Sam) [02.04.11]

What they’re saying:

Bayer Leverkusen Manager Roger Schmidt: "I feel that the team has a great motivation, and could go far in the DFB Cup,”

"At the end of the day, it is still a competition, we as a team remain and we can go all the way and win the trophy, we carry on in this cup with great seriousness.."

Speaking on the opponents “"We know they have an aggressive nature and play with a high intensity."

Kaiserslautern manager Kosta Runjaić "Even if the games against Fürth and Leverkusen are different to each other, the sense of achievement at the weekend was important for us,

"Bayer have a different team and they play different football than last year," say Runjaic. His team go in as "underdogs" in the BayArena.

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