In terms of 1899 Hoffenheim aspirations, the cup euphoria being experienced by their opponents needs to be put to an end, as they seek to reach the semi-final stage of the DFB Pokal for the first time in their history. So although the trip between Zuzenhausen and Cottbus might be long, the way through them will hopefully be short. "The players are ready. We want to win and reach the next round of the competition", explained Marco Pezzaiuoli. An interesting and, most likely, feisty match is awaiting the Kraichgau outfit, but there is no fear of what Cottbus bring to the table. "If we did what's the point of going to Cottbus, but we maintain an appropriate level of respect," stated the new manager.
The Lusatians' strengths are something Pezzaiuoli has spent his time understanding: "They have very fast players on the flanks in the form of Jiayi, Shoa and Daniel Adlung and are incredibly confident in themselves when playing at home. The 42-year old is certain, though, that his players will be successful against their lower league opposition: "If we didn't want to win we wouldn't have even travelled."
Cottbus aren't just going to roll over and accept defeat. The second division team come into the match on the back of a good win and have the ability to take advantage of their fighting spirit. "They're used to playing with an aggressive style because that's how football is played in the 2. Bundesliga", elaborated Pezzaiuoli. That's why it is important that 1899 Hoffenheim are strong when they attack the ball as they will then be able to play their own style of football and "demonstrate with our class, that we are a better side than Cottbus", as left-back Andreas Ibertsberger put it.
Vedad Ibisevic is the only player missing for Marco Pezzaiuoli following his sending of in the previous round when 1899 took on FC Ingolstadt. There are still questions marks surrounding the involvement of Tobias Weis. The 25-year old suffered a slight knock to one of his feet in this weekends match against FC St. Pauli.