Up for a cup classic

HSV and Cologne have met six times in the DFB Cup so far. For the seventh meeting in Hamburg on Tuesday night both coaches are keen to progress to the quarter final stages of the competition.

In HSV and Cologne, two tradition-steeped Bundesliga sides go head to head in the DFB Cup at the floodlit Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on Tuesday evening (07.02.17, 6.30 PM). After facing off 92 times in Germany’s top flight, the teams also have a long tradition in the DFB Cup. The clubs have won the trophy seven times between them HSV (1963, 1976, 1987) Cologne (1968, 1977, 1978, 1983) and have made the final a total of 16 times. Tuesday’s clash will be the sixth between them.

The record is even at three wins each with two of those matches requiring a replay to decide the winners. The sides drew 0-0 in Cologne before HSV took them back to Hamburg and beat them in a replay in 1967. A replay was needed agai9n in 1973 after drawing 2-2 in Hamburg. Cologne brushed aside the Rothosen 4-1 in the second game to breeze into the quarter finals, which is what both sides are striving for this time around.

"Carried by the fans"

„Our goal is of course to reach the next round. We are very keen to reach the quarter finals”, Gisdol said this week ,underlying the importance of the cup in what has been a difficult season in the Bundesliga so far: “We have a chance to consolidate our recent form regardless of the competition opponents”, added HSV’s former Cologne man Mergim Mavraj. HSV have won the last three home games and are on a four game unbeaten home run. Everyone is hoping to extend that tally by sending Cologne home empty handed on Tuesday evening: “Our fans were an enormous help in home games and we hope for more of the same against Cologne. I expect a special atmosphere”, says Gisdol who has a lot of selection decisions to make ahead of the game.

The vital 1-0 league home win over Leverkusen came at a price, with trio Lewis Holtby, Albin Ekdal and Nicolai Müller all racing the clock to become fit in time after sustaining knocks during that bruising battle at the Volksparkstadion. One man certain to miss out is Michael Gregoritsch, who has an ankle strain. Gisdol has names a 22-man squad to be on the safe side: “We will wait and see what makes sense and play our strongest possible team”, added Gisdol.

Special game for Mavraj

Cologne coach Peter Stöger is delighted to be able to pick his side from a fully fit squad. Cologne are in seventh place in the Bundesliga table following a 1-0 home win over VfL Wolfsburg last time out. Stöger revealed before the trip to Hamburg: “Everyone came through the game unscathed.” Being spoilt for choice the Cologne boss could gave a chance to other players who have not featured regularly this season. Former Rothosen striker Ajrtoms Rudnevs as well as Simon Zoller are hoping to feature up front, while at the back Dominic Maroh and Neven Subotic are hoping for what would be a rare chance to shine.

Danger man Anthony Modeste looks certain to play. The striker scored a hat trick in the 3-0 home league win over the Rothosen earlier in the season. Keeping him quiet will be high on the agenda for the home side on Tuesday. The man hoping to do so used to play for Cologne; Mergim Mavraj, who moved to Hamburg from Cologne last summer knows the French striker well and says: “It is almost impossible to keep a man of his class out for 90 minutes. I think it will take a collective effort on our part.” Should HSV manage to do so, the door could be open to a quarter final clash. It would be the first time the Rothosen have reached that stage since the 2013/14 season when their run was ended by mighty Bayern Munich. So the stage is set for what promises to be a thrilling encounter under the floodlights at the wonderful Volksparkstadion in Hamburg so lets all enjoy the action. See you all there!

HSV (from): Adler, Mathenia, Diekmeier, Djourou, Douglas Santos, Hunt, Janjicic, Jatta, Jung, Kostic, Lasogga, Mavraj, Ostrzolek, Papadopoulos, Porath, Sakai, Walace, Waldschmidt, Wood

Possible Cologne line-up: Kessler - Olkowski, Sörensen, Heintz, Rausch - Höger, J. Hector - Zoller, Bittencourt - Osako, Modeste

Referee: Günter Perl (Pullach)