DFB Pokal preview

Schalke relishing Nurnberg test

January 24, 2011

Schalke coach Felix Magath admits he would have enjoyed meeting former club Nurnberg in the final of the DFB-Pokal, but must instead plot their downfall in the last eight of the competition.

Magath was handed his second managerial post at Nurnberg in 1997, going on to hold a number of jobs in the German league before ending up at the Veltins Arena in 2009.

He remains fond of his former club, who also enjoy a friendly relationship with Schalke, but despite picking the fixture as his dream showpiece he is now focused on ending their interest in the cup when the sides meet.

''I meet my former clubs in the league all the time but of course one looks forward to this game and reunions with former companions,'' he said. ''Given the background, this would have been a beautiful final pairing, but that was the luck of the draw and it was not to be.

''Despite all the friendship only one of the two clubs will move into the semi-finals. We are at home and if that makes us the favourites it is a role I take willingly.''

The remaining three quarter-finals on Wednesday all involve sides from the Bundesliga 2 hosting top-tier opposition.

Energie Cottbus welcome Hoffenheim to the Stadion der Freundschaft, with home coach Pele Wollitz playing down his team's chances of progressing.

''Realistically, our chances are 30:70. But they are still there,'' he said. ''The fans are instrumental. With the support from the stands, it is easier for our players to grow and play beyond themselves. That is what is needed against Hoffenheim.''

Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern are the other Bundesliga teams who are attempting to overcome lower-ranked opponents, with the sides in contrasting positions following their own match-up at the weekend.

Bayern won that match in handsome fashion, Mario Gomez scoring a hat-trick to down Kaiserslautern 5-1.

That will put Louis van Gaal's side in good spirits ahead of their trip to Alemania Aachen, while Kaiserslautern will be hoping to bounce back in emphatic fashion in their clash with Duisburg.