If one is going by the statistics, then third-division side FC Hansa Rostock vs. Bundesliga outfit VfB Stuttgart can have only one winner on Saturday, 18 August. The two teams have faced each other three times before in the competition, all three of which have gone Rostock’s way, recording a second-round 3-2 win over Stuttgart in 2005, 2-1 in the 1999 quarter-final and 2-0 in 1991. VfB have also rarely come away with the points when travelling to Rostock, winning just two of 15 outings.
Nevertheless, there is little doubt as to who the favourites are going into this fixture. After all, there are two divisions separating the teams. Indeed the value of the entire Hansa squad accounts for the value of just four Stuttgart players, a club with several former and current internationals. However, FC Hansa are feeling ambitious ahead of the new season. “We want to use all the resources we have to get back into the 2. Bundesliga,” insisted head coach Pavel Dotchev to DFB.de. The duel German-Bulgarian says he is looking forward to the challenge that the Cup brings. “This is a great draw for all of us. Stuttgart are certainly the clear favourites, but the Cup has its own rules. We have a chance.”