DFB Pokal Preview
The German cup is back!!! And it is the semi finals up next. This Wednesday, 10th June, will see Bayer Leverkusen taking on a team who has surprised every single one by reaching this far in the competition, Saarbrücken. They are a 4th tier team, to make it easier to understand the difference between these two, they are placed 52 places behind Leverkusen! This truly shows how much they have overachieved, to find themselves playing a cup semifinal against these giant clubs. Leverkusen reached the semi finals by a comfortable 3-1 victory against Union Berlin, on the other hand Saarbrücken have come to the semi finals on the back of a shock win against Bundesliga side Düsseldorf.
Everybody loves an underdog story to have a happy ending, but what I feel is this might just be the end of Saarbrücken’s fairy tale run as Leverkusen are just too big a club for them to beat. So I see Leverkusen as one of the finalist, although I’d be the happiest if proven wrong.
If the first semifinal feels like a little less competitive, the other is surely not going to disappoint. It is the repeat of the 2018 DFB Pokal final, as defending champions, Bayern Munich take on Eintracht Frankfurt. Frankfurt who were able to defeat Bayern 5-1 in the league, has had a rollers coaster of a season, which is very evident as they later on went to lose 5-2 against Bayern in the reverse fixture. No one has any idea which Frankfurt side will show up on Thursday, 11th June. Bayern Munich, on the other hand have looked like a completely different side under new coach Hansi Flick, and is looking to carry their amazing form till the end of the season. They also have an extra incentive to beat the Frankfurt side, as they would be seeking a revenge for the loss they suffered in the 2018 cup final. Bayern do have an upper hand, but they can never underestimate this Frankfurt side, as they never fail to surprise.
A lot will be on the line for all the four teams, it’s just a matter of time to see who steps up their game at such a big stage. Surely it’s going to be an exciting midweek, filled with a lot of despair and joy.
Player of the week
My player of the week is FC Bayern’s Thomas Müller. With two assists in the game against Leverkusen, which Bayern won easily 4-2, he became only the fourth player to have 20 or more assists in a single season in the top 5 leagues. He has looked massively rejuvenated under new coach Hansi Flick. It is so surprising to think, how he was forcefully retired from the German team last year for not being “good enough” by the German national coach. He has truly improved in every department after the departure of Bayern’s former coach, Niko Kovać. He was involved from start to finish in the Leverkusen game, and other than a yellow card, he did not put a foot wrong. Surely he is expected to put these performances in the bigger games to come this season as well.
Matches to look forward to
My pick this week is Hoffenheim against Leipzig. Hoffenheim placed 7th currently would be hoping to get these vital points and move in the European places, which they are only two points and one spot shy of. Leipzig on the other hand, have had their season derailed after the start of the year, as they were at the top spot when 2019 ended but now find themselves in the 3rd spot and 4 points behind 2nd placed Dortmund. Nagelsmann will be facing his former side where he became the great manager he is right now, and surely would be hoping to improve his team’s devastating form, from the turn of the year. It will be a very vital game for the Bundesliga table and the result can cause a few movement in it. My prediction is a draw, which would leave both teams more desperate for points in the games to come.