On August 19th (15:30 CEST), FC Viktoria Köln will come up against RB Leipzig in the first round of the DFB Pokal – a game that will see two new coaches go head to head.
During the summer break, both clubs went without coaches for a period. While Viktoria coach Olaf Janßen went to VfL Wolfsburg to take up a new role as assistant manager, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s contract at RB Leipzig was terminated after two successful years. As their replacements, Viktoria Köln promoted Patrick Glöckner from assistant to head coach, while Leipzig’s search went on a little longer, until they ultimately appointed sporting director Ralf Rangnick.
Last season, Viktoria Köln narrowly missed out on promotion from the Regionalliga West, but continued to be a force to be reckoned with in the Middle Rhein Pokal, winning the title for the fourth time in five years. In the final, they overcame Alemannia Aachen 2-0 to confirm their qualification for the DFB Pokal for the sixth time. Their best ever result in the Cup came in the 1991/92 campaign, when they reached the round of 16, but lost out to the Stuttgarter Kickers in extra time.
Founded only recently, this year will see RB Leipzig take part in the Pokal for just the seventh time in the club’s history. With the exception of the 2012/13 campaign, Die Roten Bullen have been involved in every edition of the competition since 2011. However, the furthest round the team have reached is the round of 16 - that was back in 2015, when they were knocked out by would-be winners VfL Wolfsburg (2-0). Last season, record DFB Pokal winners Bayern Munich got the better of Leipzig in a penalty shootout, meaning the second round was the end of the road for Hasenhüttel's men.