It’s a clash between two clubs steeped in tradition. Karlsruher SC and Hannover 96 will meet at the Wildparkstadion on Sunday August 19th, more than half a century after their opening-round encounter for the German Championship back in 1956. This year, however, the two teams will be battling it out to reach the DFB Pokal second round.
There have been a total of 33 meetings between Karlsruher and Hannover. Nicknamed Die Roten (the Reds), Hannover have the better of the head-to-head record, having accumulated 19 wins to KSC's ten (four draws). This will, however, be the just the second match between the two sides in the Cup. In their only Pokal encounter, then second-division Hannover surprised top-flight Karlsruher 1-0 in the quarterfinal. For the Reds, it was one of many wins on their journey to lifting the trophy that year. A sensational triumph that made history – they became the first club from the second tier to win the DFB Pokal.
The most recent game between KSC and 96 was almost 18 months ago - in March 2017, Karlsruher won the 2. Bundesliga meeting 2-0. In the meanwhile, both clubs have experienced differing fortunes, with Hannover achieving promotion to the Bundesliga, while Karlsruher were relegated to the third division. Last season, Alois Schwarz’s men only just missed out on promotion themselves after losing to FC Erzgebirge Aue in the relegation play-off.
Bundesliga outfit Hannover will, therefore, not underestimate their upcoming Cup opponents. “It’s definitely one of the toughest draws. KSC only just missed out on promotion and they feel like a second-division side,” explained Hannover coach André Breitenreiter. Commenting on the tie, his counterpart at 96, Horst Heldt, shares his opinion on the fixture: “It’s not an easy draw. KSC are a club with a lot of tradition, I remember my many games against Karlsruhe with VfB Stuttgart. For us, it’s about making the next round – that’s the goal.