The DFB-Pokal kicks off this weekend, and Saturday afternoon sees a potentially tasty matchup take place as VfL Osnabrück hosts Werder Bremen at the Stadion an der Bremer Brücke in the first round of the tournament.
Osnabrück made a solid start to their season last time out, beating Saarbrücken 2-1 on the road. What was especially impressive about the victory is that they played nearly the entirety of the contest down a man, as Omar Haktab Traoré was sent off in the 4th minute. It was a big win for them, and Die Lila-Weiß will now look to cause a marquee cup upset.
Bremen’s campaign has been an interesting one so far. They tied Hannover 96 1-1 at home on opening weekend of the 2. Bundesliga season, and it was far from a stellar performance from them. Die Werderaner then travelled to Fortuna Düsseldorf, and they managed to win 3-2 despite conceding a goal in stoppage time since Maximilian Eggestein slotted home from the penalty spot in the final few moments. Their sights are now set on the cup, and they’ll aim to get even further than they did last year when they were eliminated in the semi-finals.
VfL Osnabrück: Kühn, Haas, Gugganig, Trapp, Kleinhansl, Klaas, Taffertshofer, Kunze, Simakala, Heider, Higl
Werder Bremen: Zetterer, Mbom, Mai, Friedl, Agu, Dinkçi, Schmidt, Eggestein, Groß, Schmid, Füllkrug
Ones to watch
If Osnabrück wants to have any chance of pulling off an upset on this occasion, then they’ll likely need Philipp Kühn to have a big game.
The goalkeeper has had quite the career. A wonderful example of a journeyman, he played for the likes of Rot-Weiss Ahlen, SV Sandhausen, Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, FC Viktoria Köln, and SV Drochtersen/Assel before joining Osnabrück. This is his fourth season with them, though, so there’s reason to believe that he’s finally found a home for himself.
Despite the position he plays, Kühn doesn’t have the most intimidating frame. Standing at 1.89 meters tall, he’s a bit short when compared to other goalkeepers. However, that isn’t the worst thing in the world, as his smaller stature allows him to be a bit quicker when it comes to reacting to the ball and coming off of his line.
He’ll probably need to make the most of those attributes since he might be under a lot of pressure versus Bremen. They aren’t incredibly threatening going forward, but they are a team in a league above Osnabrück, and they were in the top-flight just a few months ago. Die Werderaner should control the contest, and if they do, then they’ll be expected to create a number of chances.
If all that happens, Kühn will be the last man who can save Osnabrück, both figuratively and literally. The magic of the cup does do strange things to some goalkeepers, so don’t be too surprised if he manages to stand on his head and lead his team to victory, especially if the tie goes to penalties.
He could certainly use a goal. The striker struggled at the end of last season, and he hasn't been great to start this campaign.
Füllkrug is a streaky scorer, though, so a goal or two here could kick-start a rich run of form.
Last time out
This will be the first competitive contest between the two sides, but they have faced off in a number of friendlies, with the most recent one coming in 2019.
It wasn’t the most thrilling contest, as there was only one goal scored. That came courtesy of Osnabrück forward Kevin Friesenbichler, who grabbed the winner for his side in the 19th minute.
The result ultimately mattered little since it was a preseason game after all, but both teams will at least know a bit about each other since the match took place just a few years ago.
How to watch
The match kicks off at 15:30 CEST, and those in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland will be able to watch the contest on Sky Sport 1/HD.