It’s time for Goliath to put David in his place, as BVB travel to upstart Lotte for the next round of the DFB Cup. Lotte is a third division side, but has beaten Werder, Leverkusen and 1860 Munich thus far in the DFB Pokal. That is incredibly impressive. Meanwhile, BVB have had a unimpressive cup run so far. We have needed penalties to beat Union Berlin and Hertha Berlin, consecutively.
BVB have had a weird run so far in the Rückrunde. We won our last two league games with a healthy 3-0, but we struggled against Hertha and Benfica in tournament play. Sokratis is not available for this game, as he is suspended for a red card in the game against Hertha. Isak has also been ruled out by Tuchel, due to a knock. One big worry for this game that Tuchel voiced is the quality of the Lotte pitch. Lotte have had their last two home games called off, because of bad pitch conditions. If the pitch is playable on for tomorrow, we will really just have to pray that nobody sustains any injures. Expect Weidenfeller to start in goal this game with Ginter and Bartra being the center backs. As for the rest of the team, it’ll be hard to say. The Pokal is our best chance that we have for metal this season, so it may be best to not take the giant killers lightly with a rotated side. That being said, rest may be needed for some key pieces as we do still have qualifying for Champions League to worry about. We will probably see guys like Pulisic and Kagawa in the squad, getting some much needed minutes while letting others rest. Hopefully our bench has youngsters like Passlack, Merino and Larsen whom all could use some first team minutes.
Lotte currently sit 7th on the 3.Liga table. Don’t let that fool you, they have all the makings of giant killers. Lotte are a high scoring side, scoring 3rd most in the league so far this season. They scored 2 goals in each of their DFB games so far. They were able to hold Bayer to pens, which they were able to win to advance on. They also shut out 1860 Munich. With BVB struggling to keep clean sheet most of the season and without Sokratis, it will be hard to keep this side at bay. So BVB should keep to their exact game plan they’ve had for the past two months, all out dismantle teams for the first 30 mins. This has worked well so far. While we weren't able to beat Benfica, the amount of chances we had makes us seem more unlucky then having the wrong game plan. We definitely don’t want another game to go to penalties, Tuchel will have to focus on not just winning this match but winning it quickly and effectively.
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