Beck and Ba out of Koblenz tie

1899 Hoffenheim will be without injured duo Demba Ba and Andreas Beck as they face TuS Koblenz in the third round of the DFB Cup on Wednesday at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena (kick off 20.30 CET).

Hoffenheim are the clear favourites for the match against the side currently placed 16th in the 2. Bundesliga table. Still, coach Ralf Rangnick and star striker Vedad Ibisevic were keen not to underestimate the opposition. "It could be quite a dangerous game for us. The difference between TuS Koblenz and Hoffenheim isn't that big. Anything can happen in the cup," said Rangnick in the pre-match press conference. "Koblenz are a good side. The cup is always good for a surprise or two and it's not going to be easy. We'll be doing everything we can to avoid an upset," said Ibisevic.

Meanwhile, Koblenz coach Uwe Rapolder announced to the media that he would be effectively 'parking the bus' in front of his side's goal in terms of tactics: "We'll be setting our stall out very defensively, trying to close down the space and perhaps catch them on the counter." Nevertheless, Rangnick is confident his side can break the visitors down: "We'll create chances and I'm sure we'll take them. We need to get a first half lead, 2-0 at half time would be ideal. That way they will be forced to attack us." In that vein, Rangnick has not had his players practising penalties during the week. "We always practise penalties after training but not because we think the game is going to go to go to penalties. You never know, we might get a penalty during the match."

In terms of squad selection, Rangnick will once again be forced to do without the services of Andreas Beck and Demba Ba. There is also a major question mark over the fitness of Chinedu Obasi, who is still suffering from muscular problems. Tobias Weis and Matthias Jaissle are also unavailable following their respective injuries. That means Franco Zuculini could be in line for a start, especially following his goalscoring display in the 3-0 victory over Nürnberg.

14,300 Hoffenheim fans have secured their seats for Wednesday's match so far, while around 700 Koblenz fans are set to make the trip.

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