Bayern Munich DFB Pokal semifinal 'life and death' for Bayer Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich has said his side face a "life and death" DFB Pokal semifinal against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Leverkusen have been revived under Herrlich, with Kevin Volland, Leon Bailey, Julian Brandt and 18-year-old Kai Havertz helping them to third in the table, although they have not managed more than two consecutive wins.
On Tuesday, they aim to become the first team to beat Bayern outside the Allianz Arena in the DFB Pokal for more than nine years when they take them on at the BayArena.
And despite two 3-1 losses in their league meetings this season, they are confident they can seal a place in the final in Berlin.
"It's about life and death this time," Herrlich, a two-time cup winner as a player, told his prematch news conference.
"Nobody will be dead on the pitch, but you die in a sporting sense. And we'd like to live on for a few more weeks and go to the final."
Bayern remain on course to win a second Treble under Jupp Heynckes, having done so in 2013, with the 72-year-old interim coach stepping down at the end of the season.
"Jupp is a role model for us all," Herrlich said. "It's incredible what he has achieved.
"But we can't take this into consideration [on Tuesday]. He will understand it. If he were to win the Bundesliga and the Champions League, he'd still have a successful season."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.