DFB Pokal | Mainz 05 v Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig v Hoffenheim amidst last 16 fixtures

Eight Bundesliga teams will battle it out in the Round of 16 of the DFB Pokal: Leaders Union Berlin welcome VfL Wolfsburg, Mainz 05 will be hoping for a surprise at home against record winners Bayern Munich and current holders RB Leipzig will want a repeat of April’s 3-0 win against TSG Hoffenheim at the Red Bull Arena.

Borussia Dortmund travel to their Ruhr neighbours VfL Bochum and can expect, in spite of VfL’s poor season and penultimate league position, a characteristically ferocious crowd in what is guaranteed to be a sold-out Ruhrstadion. 

Amongst the most anticipated ties will be the ‘Hessen-Derby’ when Eintracht Frankfurt host current 2. Bundesliga leaders Darmstadt 98. The Deutsche Bank Park and the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor stadia are just 30km apart and the sparks are always going to fly when two clubs from the football mad region of Hessen play each other. 

From the other draws, current in-form side Freiburg will be confident to have a good chance of reaching the next round after getting probably the easiest draw a home match against second-tier Sandhausen. 

Stuttgart in turn face a tricky tie at home to a Paderborn side who have scored 32 goals in 13 matches in the second-tier so far and will not be easy to break down. 

The only fixture between two 2. Bundesliga teams in the Round of 16 is between FC Nürnberg and Fortuna Düsseldorf, in the pairing between the two historical clubs, ‘Der Club’ statistically has the edge with Fortuna having won only 16 of the 53 ties between the two historical clubs.

Due to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the eight ties will not take place until 2023. The Round of 16 will be played across four dates: January 31, February 1, February 7 and February 8, 2023. No date has yet been given by the DFB for the final confirmation of the dates.

Ben McFadyean

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