Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim, two of Germany’s in-form teams, are set to face off in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday.
This match holds significance as Hoffenheim has not reached the quarter-finals since their defeat to Dortmund in the 2014-15 campaign, while Dortmund clinched the title in 2021.
Dortmund’s recent success in the DFB-Pokal came under the guidance of Edin Terzic, who led the team to a remarkable 4-1 victory against RB Leipzig in the final last year.
Although Terzic has returned as permanent head coach, Dortmund narrowly missed out on the Bundesliga title last season. However, with their strong performance, they remain contenders for top honors this year.
Dortmund’s consistent performance suggests that they have the potential to achieve similar success with a stroke of luck.
Having won their last six matches against Hoffenheim, Dortmund is optimistic about this fixture, especially with the home advantage at Westfalenstadion.
However, they are aware of Hoffenheim’s recent improvement and form.
Hoffenheim fought against relegation for a major part of last season but managed to secure their stay in the Bundesliga under manager Pellegrino Matarazzo.
After qualifying for the Champions League in 2016-17 and 2017-18, Hoffenheim’s performance has been inconsistent.
However, their recent 3-2 victory against Stuttgart suggests that they are on the right track to secure a European qualification spot.
Despite participating in the Bundesliga since 2007, Hoffenheim has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal, having been eliminated at that stage on seven occasions.
A win against Dortmund could mark a historic milestone for Matarazzo and his team, igniting dreams of an extraordinary cup run.
Borussia Dortmund’s DFB-Pokal form: W
Borussia Dortmund’s form (all competitions): W D W W W D
Hoffenheim’s DFB-Pokal form: W
Hoffenheim’s form (all competitions): W W L W L W
Dortmund, juggling their commitments in the Champions League and Bundesliga, is likely to make some changes for this cup tie.
Players such as Youssoufa Moukoko, Julian Brandt, Niklas Sule, and Karim Adeyemi are expected to start.
Additionally, those who were unused substitutes in the last fixture, including Sebastien Haller, Thomas Meunier, Julian Ryerson, and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, will be looking to gain match fitness.
Injuries may keep Mats Hummels, Gregor Kobel, Felix Nmecha, Emre Can, Julien Duranville, and Mateu Morey out of the lineup for Dortmund.
Hoffenheim, not participating in European competition this season, may field a stronger team in their quest to improve their DFB-Pokal record.
However, they also face injury concerns. Pavel Kaderabek, Florian Grillitsch, Marco John, Ozan Kabak, Andrej Kramaric, Stanley Nsoki, Bambase Conte, and Dennis Geiger are expected to miss the match.
Attila Szalai will likely have an opportunity to showcase his skills in the defense for Hoffenheim, while Ihlas Bebou may partner with Wout Weghorst in the attack.
Possible starting lineups:
- Meunier, Sule, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson;
- Ozcan, Brandt;
- Bynoe-Gittens, Adeyemi;
- Haller, Moukoko
- Akpoguma, Adams, Szalai;
- Bebou, Stach, Samassekou, Becker, Bulter;
- Weghorst, Berisha
Considering the strong performance of both teams in the Bundesliga and the injuries they are dealing with, we can expect significant lineup changes.
Dortmund, with their deeper squad, is likely to continue their winning streak against Hoffenheim in recent years. Hoffenheim’s struggles in the DFB-Pokal are expected to persist.
- Our prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Hoffenheim