DFB-Cup: Tension before Christmas in the last 16 of the cup

With not long to go before Christmas, the football year has another top highlight in store. It’ll be high tension all the way in Germany on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 December when the round of the last 16 in the DFB Cup is played. The draw has produced some intriguing pairings for the battle for a place in the quarterfinals on 7 February 2012.

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In November 2002 Schalke won 5-0 in the cup against Mönchengladbach. Ebbe Sand (behind) and Marcelo Pletsch were often seen battling for the ball. (Photo: Firo/Augenklick)

 


Two of the games in the German Football Association’s (DFB) cup competition will be between close rivals from the western part of Germany. League champions Borussia Dortmund will be away to second division leaders Fortuna Düsseldorf. The German ZDF television channel will show the match live on Tuesday (from 8:30 pm local time). One day later on Wednesday, Borussia Mönchengladbach will be at home to cup-holders FC Schalke 04 in match that will be televised by ARD (from 8:30 pm). With this year’s last 16 being so attractive, television viewers will for once be able to watch two matches live on the public channels. All eight games will also be transmitted live on Sky, the pay-TV channel. ARD/ZDF will additionally show the highlights.

254th Franconia derby between the “Club” and the “Clover Leaves”

The other matches in the round promise to be almost as good. There will be a big derby in Franconia when 1. FC Nuremberg face local rivals SpVgg Greuther Fürth (Tuesday, 7:00 pm kick-off). Simply known as the “Club” in Germany, first division Nuremberg will take on their close neighbours from Fürth who are in the top three in league two. The last meeting between the two, which took place in May 2009 when both were in the second division, saw them share the honours in a 1-1 draw. Their last game in the DFB Cup in 1996 ended in a 2-1 win for Fürth but the overall record is in the four-time cup winner’s favour.

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The Franconia derby is something very special as the two rivals have played each other on 253 occasions over the 100 and more years. No other derby with top clubs Germany has been played so often. Nuremberg have won 137 times, the “Clover Leaves” as they are known in allusion to their club emblem, have triumphed 70 times. Forty-six games finished as a draw but there is no chance of that happening in the cup on 20 December.

Highly interesting is also the second division against first division clash on Tuesday (kick-off 7:00 pm) when VfL Bochum face the record cup winners FC Bayern Munich. The all-Bundesliga affair between 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Augsburg rounds off the fixtures on the first evening of cup games in the last 16.

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FC Bayern is away to VfL Bochum in the cup. In the Bundesliga match in Munich on 1 May 2010, the home team won 3-1 and Thomas Müller (left) got the better of Mimoun Azauoagh. (Photo: GES/Augenklick)

Hertha BSC hoping to reach the cup final in Berlin

In addition to the west German duel between Gladbach and Schalke on Wednesday, two other encounters involve teams from the Bundesliga. Nadine Angerer, the captain of the German women’s national team, pitted Hertha BSC Berlin against 1. FC Kaiserslautern (kick-off 7:00 pm) and VfB Stuttgart against Hamburg SV (kick-off 8:30 pm) when drawing the balls out of the glass bowl at the end of October. Playing in the Olympic Stadium, the Berlin club would love to take another step on the way to their first appearance in the final which is staged in their home ground. The only team from the Hertha club to stand in the DFB-final after it was decided to play the match on a regular basis in Berlin was their amateur eleven. That was back in 1993 (12 July) when Hertha’s amateurs lost 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen.

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Hamburg won their first Bundesliga match in the current season in Stuttgart (2-1). Dennis Aogo (lefts) and Martin Harnik will face each other once again in the cup. (Photo: GES/Augenklick)


The last amateur team still left in the current competition will once again be at home in the last 16. Holstein Kiel, who beat MSV Duisburg, last season’s runners-up, will take on 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Wednesday (7:00 pm).

Continental AG will have a presence at every game. The company, which is based Hanover, has also been one of the top sponsors of the DFB Cup since 2010 and is therefore to be seen on the perimeter advertising at all matches from the first round to the final.

Overview of the last 16 in the 2011/12 season:

Tuesday, 20 December (all times are local)

VfL Bochum - FC Bayern Munich (7:00 pm)

1. FC Nuremberg - SpVgg Greuther Fürth (7:00 pm)

Fortuna Düsseldorf - Borussia Dortmund (8:30 pm)

1899 Hoffenheim - FC Augsburg (8:30 pm)

Wednesday, 21 December

Hertha BSC Berlin - 1. FC Kaiserslautern (7:00 pm)

Holstein Kiel - FSV Mainz 05 (7:00 pm)

VfB Stuttgart - Hamburger SV (8:30 pm)

Borussia Mönchengladbach - FC Schalke 04 (8:30 pm)