Arne Friedrich, Marko Rehmer und Fredi Bobic laufen auf dem Trainingsplatz.

The longing for the final in your living room is huge. Year after year, Hertha makes a new attempt to take the DFB Cup final at the Olympic Stadium. On Wednesday (8:45pm) our Blues and Whites have a chance to reach the quarter-finals again for the first time in 2,170 days – and thus one step closer to the big dream. “We are really looking forward to the match against Al Ittihad, but we also know the quality of the opponent. With our fans behind us – both in the stadium and in front of the screens – we want to reach the quarter-finals!” Sporting director Arne Friedrich does not beat the bush. Pre-cup derby against 1. FC Union Embark on statistical research and take note of the facts worth knowing – provided by lead partner Autohero.

statistics: Since it’s the first performance comparison in the competition, there are no numbers in the stats sheet for this pairing. The Bundesliga record is perfectly balanced with two wins for both teams and one draw. Courage and hope were encouraged by the results of the two matches on the Olympic stadium, which Hertha’s team clearly won (4-0, 3-1). The confrontation in the first half of the season is not relevant this evening. “We played a game in November where we didn’t bring the momentum to our side. It’s a different situation now, because there can only be one winner,” sporting managing director Freddy Bobic compares to the last league match.

distinct: In addition to the previously mentioned fact that this is the premiere of the Cup between the two clubs, all fans can look forward to the debut of the VAR in this year’s competition. As in the past two seasons, VAR technology will be used from the Round of 16 in 2021/22, previously this was only the case from the next round. Equally gratifying to all involved on Wednesday night: it’s the first duel on a completely new lawn in our land. So everything is set for the blue and white mission to reach the quarter-finals again after 2015/16 – and for the 16th time in history. “We want to give our fans a gift and go on tour,” confirms Niklas Stark. By the way: Köpenickers have only appeared there twice so far.

Personal: Our Spreeathener Hospital is slowly being cleared. With captain Dedric Boyata and new signing Frederic Bjorkan back in training, our head coach Typhon Korkut in Ron Garsten (rehabilitation) and Stefan Jovitic (calf) only had two pros definitely unavailable. Whether goalkeeper Oliver Christensen and Peter Pekarek are short-term options depends on the timely free tests. “I’ve thought a lot about the crew and the lineup,” our coach revealed up front, without letting us look at the cards too closely. Speaking of Korkut: The football coach also has a very personal derby experience when he played with Fenerbahce. In 1997 he scored the opening goal for Istanbul’s local rival Galatasaray in a 3-1 victory.


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