DFB Pokal: Mainz and Wehen targets shocks

German Football
By German Football March 3, 2009 02:45

DFB Pokal: Mainz and Wehen targets shocks

Mainz and Wehen Wiesbaden will be looking to upset the form book this week as they aim to book a place in the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal at the expense of Bundesliga opposition.

Mainz, who knocked Cologne out in the second round, host Schalke tomorrow night in the first of this week’s quarter-final ties with the pressure firmly on the top-flight side.

The Royal Blues have failed to make a big impression in the Bundesliga this week and coach Fred Rutten was under increasing pressure until a 2-1 victory at Frankfurt at the weekend restored a hint of tranquillity in Gelsenkirchen.

However, Rutten knows only a win can save him from renewed criticism tomorrow.

“We want to reach the next round because our aim in this competition is (the final in) Berlin,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how we get through; the main thing is that we win.”

Wehen travel to Hamburg on Wednesday needing to register their first away win of the season to follow up a win over Karlsruhe in the last round and record another shock.

However, having scored only three goals in six games so far in 2009, the odds are stacked against the second division strugglers.

Wolfsburg have emerged as possible Bundesliga title contenders thanks to their 3-1 win at Hamburg yesterday and manager Felix Magath, who led Bayern Munich to back-to-back league and cup doubles, can keep alive dreams of emulating that feat with the Wolves by beating Werder Bremen.

The other tie sees cup holders Bayern Munich travel to Dusseldorf, where they will face Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday night.

Both teams have injury worries with Luca Toni and Philipp Lahm both serious doubts for Bayern and Manuel Friedrich ruled out for the home team.

Leverkusen have yet to win in their adopted home of the Dusseldorf Arena, but goalkeeper Rene Adler thinks now would be the perfect time for that record to end.

“I am really looking forward to the Bayern game,” he said. “To beat them and reach the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal would be worth its weight in gold.”

German Football
By German Football March 3, 2009 02:45
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