Borussia Dortmund reached the DFB-Pokal final on four consecutive occasions between 2014 and 2017. However, the current Bundesliga leaders were knocked out of the competition at the round of sixteen stage last season as BVB lost 2-1 away at record champions FC Bayern München. Dortmund will hope to go one step further towards Berlin when they take on fellow Bundesliga club SV Werder Bremen on Tuesday, 5th February (20:45 CET). However, Florian Kohfeldt’s side also want to make a deep run in the competition and build upon their previous two victories.
Dortmund currently have a six point lead over FC Bayern in the Bundesliga table, but their fortunes in the DFB-Pokal haven’t been as comfortable. In Lucien Favre’s first match in charge, BVB needed extra time to get past second tier side SpVgg Greuther Fürth (2-1) before again going the distance against 1. FC Union Berlin in the second round. Marco Reus scored the winning goal in Fürth and was on hand again to score a late penalty to give Dortmund a late 3-2 win against Union. It took a 90th minute equaliser from Axel Witsel just to send the first round tie to extra time. Dortmund have been on the brink of elimination in both of their DFB-Pokal matches so far this season. BVB cannot afford to leave that late again against a Bremen side who are competing to qualify for Europe next season.
So far this season, everything has gone to plan for Werder in the DFB-Pokal. The Green-Whites haven’t been massively tested in the opening two round, defeating fourth tier sides Wormatia Worms (6-1) and Weiche Flensburg (5-1). Werder have successfully reached the last sixteen of the competition in three of the last four seasons. The Bremen have won the DFB-Pokal six times and have reached the final on ten previous occasions. However, Werder have not won the trophy so far this decade. Two players will face their former clubs in this cup tie as Nuri Sahin faces BVB for the second time since leaving the Ruhr club last summer to move to Bremen. At the other end of the pitch, Thomas Delaney will line up against the Green-Whites, who he played for until the end of last season.
There are some good omens for both teams going into this match. Werder last won the DFB-Pokal in 2009 and defeated Dortmund 2-1 away from home as part of their victorious run to Berlin. However, Dortmund have won four of the six DFB-Pokal ties between the two sides. Additionally, the last time that Dortmund won the Bundesliga in 2012, they also went on to complete a domestic double. BVB also won in the previous meeting between the two sides so far this season, winning 2-1 in the Signal-Iduna-Park on 15th December 2018.