Hamburger SV, top of the 2. Bundesliga during the winter break will take on 1. FC Nürnberg, the team currently bottom of the Bundesliga in the last 16 of the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday, February 5th (18:30 CET). Despite the difference in leagues, an even game is to be expected. HSV have only lost three games out of 20 this season, while Nürnberg have only won twice in the Bundesliga, losing seven and drawing two of their away games in the process.
It’s no wonder that Nürnberg’s sporting director Andreas Bornemann is expecting “a difficult game against a massive club,” especially as his side struggled their way through the previous two rounds. In round one, Mikael Ishak scored an 88th minute winner against fifth-division side SV Linx to secure a 2-1 win. Adam Zrelak then scored a 90th minute equaliser at third-tier Hansa Rostock in round two, before “The Club” held their nerves to go through on penalties.
HSV have looked good in the cup this season, beating fifth-divison TuS Erndtebrück 5-3 and then third-tier SV Wehen Wiesbaden 3-0. Their striker, Pierre-Michel Lasogga is currently the top goalscorer in the current DFB-Pokal season with four goals to his name.
Nürnberg players Hanno Behrens, Christian Mathenia and Törles Knöll will all return to their former side for the cup tie. “I didn’t expect to be playing a game back home”, said Behrens, who was born on the outskirts of Hamburg and played for HSV’s youth academy between 2005 and 2012. Mathenia and Knöll both left Hamburg for Nurnberg at the beginning of the season. “It’s a great draw,” said an excited Mathenia, who added: “It’s a difficult game but we definitely want to be in the draw for the next round.”
Nürnberg may well look to previous meetings with HSV in the DFB-Pokal for inspiration ahead of this game. They have beaten Hamburg on both occasions: 2-0 in the semi-finals (10/04/82) and 3-1 in the last 16 (06/02/65). That being said, both games did take place in Nürnberg. HSV’s home record against Nürnberg goes in their favour. They have won 27 out of 38 meetings at home in all competitions.