Hello everyone! I am stoked to be back on our regular schedule! Although there’s no Bundesliga until the 19th of August, we still have a rather important competitive match this weekend: the first Pokal match of the year! Wow, have I missed this feeling! And yes — I know we’re playing a team from the Regionalliga, but at least something’s at stake! I mean you know what they say — everything can happen in Die Pokal.
So we’re playing Schott Mainz, not to be mistaken for Mainz 05, which is in fact a real Bundesliga side. Schott Mainz play in Die Südwest Regionalliga, which is the 4th tier in German football. They were actually relegated from the 4th tier two seasons ago, but now they’re back and ready to sacrifice every inch of their bodies in order to advance past the black and yellow giants from Dortmund! Oh — and because their stadium is so small, they have to borrow Mainz 05’s stadium, the MEWA Arena.
As far as I know, there’s no direct translation of Verein in English, as it’s not a thing in many countries. But having worked in the Verein life myself, I can tell you... When we drew a team from the Danish Superliga as opponents, everyone went bonkers. It’s so much fun. Schott Mainz’ managing director, Till Pleuger, named Dortmund a “dream draw”. It’s not everyday that these small clubs gets to play against a Bundesliga side, so I understand why everyone around the Verein is very excited for this fixture! So far this season, Schott Mainz has played one game against FSV Frankfurt, which they lost 4-3. Fun fact; the game was postponed due to an unplayable pitch. Only in the Regionalliga, am I right?
It’s always kinda difficult to predict the lineups for these “smaller” games, but I guess Edin Terzic will not hold back on this one. Meunier, Duranville, Bynoe-Gittens and Reyna will be out. Adeyemi and Nmecha are doubtful, and some reports have claimed that Dortmund see no reason to risk the two players for this match (good idea!). Kobel and Schlottigott have had a full week of training and should be good to go.
I actually somehow missed making these?
Anyway, we’re really short on wingers, so I guess Brandt will slot in as a winger for this fixture. I think we’ll see two whole debuts for this one. Both Marcel Sabitzer and Ramy Bensebaini have looked very sharp during pre season, and there should be nothing standing in the way of them getting their first minutes tomorrow. I’m not sure whether Terzic will rush back Schlotterbeck, so I’ve gone with Hummels to partner up with Big Fridge.
Player To Watch: Marcel Sabitzer
Ha — fooled you. All the players of Schott Mainz are not even full time professionals, so I’ve decided to pick one of our own to watch. I was very stoked about the Sabitzer deal when it was first announced, and tomorrow should be a relatively safe game for him to assert himself in the team, as Nmecha is currently not available.
I think Sabitzer was just the profile we needed, and while I don’t plan to create another Brandtwagon, I’m having high hopes for him (if he stays injury free). So, look out for our new Austrian midfield general! He could — in my opinion — be the signing of the season.
Haha, well, I don’t know man. Maybe 6-0 is a good shout? Yeah, we’ll go with 6-0. I don’t suspect that a team like Schott Mainz will be able to cause any problems. I just think they’ll be happy to participate in what will undoubtedly be a stomp to kick off the season!