DFB Pokal Round of 16 | Previews and Predictions

Once again, the DFB Pokal has provided us with shock results and fixtures to remember for many years to come this season. The round of 16 looks set to continue the trend, and with many Bundesliga clubs facing one another, we’re guaranteed to have lower league teams progressing into the Quarter-Finals and perhaps beyond that. Here are your DFB Pokal fixture previews and predictions. 

Tuesday 

FC Kaiserslautern vs FC Nürnberg 

This fixture will act as a nice and timely distraction for both of these 2. Bundesliga sides. Nürnberg have one just two of their last five league fixtures and currently sit 11th in the table. Kaiserslautern are in 16th position and share the joint-worst form in the division alongside bottom-of-the-table VfL Osnabrück (one draw and four losses in their last five matches). Kaiserslautern have already beaten Nürnberg this season (3-1) but have since fallen off a cliff in terms of form. What’s more, they now have a new head coach in Dimitrios Grammozis, formally of Schalke 04. Both sides are coming off the back of two heavy defeats, so this fixture is really up for grabs. 

(Prediction: FC Kaiserslautern 1-2 FC Nürnberg) 

FC Magdeburg vs Fortuna Düsseldorf 

It’s another 2. Bundesliga match-up as 12th hosts 4th. Magdeburg have just won back-to-back league games since the start of the season and have taken a big step away from the relegation places. On the other hand, Düsseldorf have remained impressive all season and are aiming for promotion back to the Bundesliga this term. Having just beat Nürnberg 5-0 and Schalke 5-3, they should be full of confidence going into this one, knowing they have a real chance of going far in this season’s DFB Pokal. 

(Prediction: FC Magdeburg 1-3 Fortuna Düsseldorf) 

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs VfL Wolfsburg

In our first all-Bundesliga fixture, this game couldn’t be played against two evenly-matched teams. Placed 10th and 11th respectively, these two are only separated by goal difference in the league table. Last weekend, Gladbach impressed and got a much-needed win against TSG Hoffenheim. Meanwhile, Wolfsburg handed VfL Bochum their first home win of the season in a 3-1 defeat. However, in terms of the cup this season, Wolfsburg have shown their quality having already knocked out reigning champions RB Leipzig. A few weeks ago, Gladbach won this exact fixture in ruthless fashion coming out 4-0 winners. Both have been hit or miss at times this season, but I just have a feeling the home side will edge it once again. 

(Prediciton: Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 VfL Wolfsburg)

FC 08 Homburg vs St. Pauli

This is the fixture I’m looking forward to the most during the Tuesday games. Homburg are the lowest-ranked team still in the competition, currently playing their football in the Regionalliga South West. What’s more, they’re top of their league by one goal (keep an eye on this title race as the season develops)! The visitors are of course favourites for this one and are top of the 2. Bundesliga themselves. However, they’ll know of the danger that Homburg poses. The club has already beaten second-division outfits to get into the round 16. The question is, can St. Pauli avoid a banana skin? 

(Prediction: FC 08 Homburg 1-2 St. Pauli AET)

Wednesday 

Bayer Leverkusen vs SC Paderborn

Xabi Alonso’s side are the last team across Europe’s top leagues to remain unbeaten in all competitions. That in itself should tell you what an outstanding job the Spaniard is doing at Leverkusen. Their opponents sit 10th in the 2. Bundesliga and have a mixed bag of form. It’s going to take a monumental effort for their away team to cause a massive shock in this one. Alonso has spoken in his press conference about the strengths Paderborn have and will not take them for granted. For that reason, I can’t the unbeaten run ended in this one. 

(Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 SC Paderborn) 

FC Saarbrücken vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Saarbrücken caused the biggest upset in the last round when they scored a stoppage-time winner against Bayern Munich, and they’re going to have to do it again against Bundesliga outfit Frankfurt. Having only played on Sunday, Frankfurt have had less time to prepare for this and are coming off the back of a 2-1 loss to FC Augsburg. However, Saarbrücken have struggled in the 3. Liga this season and have drew their last two matches 0-0. As a person who watches a lot of third-division football, I can tell you that Saarbrücken’s pitch could play a factor in this one. Simply put, it’s seen better days. Due to the recent rain and snowy conditions, the pitch is heavy underfoot and cuts up very easily. Should it rain during the game, we could be in for an absolute slog under the lights. 

(Prediction: FC Saarbrücken 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt) 

Hertha Berlin vs Hamburger SV 

This is another game I’m really looking forward to this round. Both Hertha and HSV have ambitions of playing Bundesliga football next season. Don’t be fooled by Hertha’s position at the table right now. After a slow start, I expect them to be up there come the business end of the season. HSV won the reverse fixture right at the beginning of the season back in August (3-0). However, I’m not expecting a similar scoreline here. With home advantage and the possibility of reaching the last 8 of the DFB Pokal, this will be a closely fought but great match-up. With both teams scoring and conceding goals in large amounts, I’m anticipating (and hoping) the same here. 

(Prediciton: Hertha Belrin 3-2 Hamburger SV) 

VfB Stuttgart vs Borussia Dortmund 

This is possibly the top match of the round. Stuttgart have been flying this season and recently beat BVB in the Bundesliga to continue their impressive run. What’s more, their front two Serhou Guirassy and Deniz Undav just can’t stop scoring. The duo have scored 24 of Stuttgart’s 33 Bundesliga goals. Realistically, this is the only trophy either team can win this season (never say never of course, but let’s be sensible people). For BVB, if they were to lose to Stuttgart once again, it would only darken the clouds overhead. This comes as GGFN reported today that tensions are beginning to rise between the higher-ups at Borussia Dortmund, which is seeing Sebastian Kehl and Edin Terzić against one another. There is simply more of the line than progression to the next round for Terzić and BVB. When push comes to shove, will BVB get the job done? 

(Prediction: VfB Stuttgart 2-2 Borussia Dortmund – BVB progress on penalties) 

GGFN | Jamie Allen