We’re down to the last eight in this season’s DFB Pokal and the first of the quarter-final match-ups take place on Tuesday and Wednesday to see who will progress to the semi-finals. Here we take a look at the midweek Pokal action.
St. Pauli v Fortuna Düsseldorf (Tuesday)
Just three days after meeting in the league, 2.Bundesliga sides St. Pauli and Fortuna go head-to-head again looking for cup glory. Saturday’s league clash at the Merkur Spiel Arena saw the Hamburg side reclaim top spot in the league with a 2-1 win. Two Marcel Hartel goals in the first half put the Kiezkickers in control, but an 83rd minute reply from Christos Tzolis made things interesting.
The Cup tie sees St. Pauli as hosts at the Millerntor as they look to progress to the last four for the second time in their history. They reached the semis back in 2005/06 as a Regionalliga Nord side eventually losing to Bayern Munich.
Fortuna’s halcyon days in the DFB Pokal were in the late 1970’s when they reached the final three years running. They lost out to Köln in 1978 before returning the following year to claim their first German cup with a 1-0 extra-time win over Hertha Berlin. They then defended their crown in 1980 and gained revenge over Köln with a win over the Billy Goats in Gelsenkirchen.
Hertha Berlin v Kaiserslautern (Wednesday)
The Wednesday quarter-final is another all-2.Bundesliga affair with Hertha Berlin hosting Kaiserslautern at the Olympiastadion. The capital club are finding life in the second tier a struggle and currently occupy tenth place. A 3-1 away loss at Wiesbaden at the weekend was not the ideal preparation, but they will be focussed on making the semis against a team lower than them in the table.
Hertha have never won the DFB Pokal although they have been beaten finalists on two occasions. In 1977 they lost to Köln and then missed out again in 1979 to Fortuna Düsseldorf. The 1992/93 season saw Hertha knocked out in the round of 16 by Bayer leverkusen, but the Hertha BSC II amateur side actually went on to reach the final, only to ultimately lose to the Werkself.
Kaiserslautern are also having their struggles in the 2.Bundesliga this season and are only one point above the relegation places, although they did secure a confidence-boosting 4-1 win over Schalke on Friday. The Red Devils have won the Pokal on two occasions (1990 and 1996) and have been beaten finalists on a further five occasions- the most recent in 2003.
*The remaining two quarter-final ties will be played on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th of February with Bayer Leverkusen hosting VfB Stuttgart and 3.Liga minnows Saarbrücken entertaining Borussia Mönchengladbach.