DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Alfredo Morales should be in Hertha's starting eleven as they try to push past 'Gladbach to the semifinals while Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson will do their best to help the Hoffe tame Fürth.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson could both be in Hoffenheim's starting lineup on Wednesday when the team tries to avoid a fourth quarterfinal exit in five attempts against 2. Bundesliga team Greuther Fürth.
The Hoffe have made the most of their relatively few appearances in the German Cup, however have made a habit of stumbling just before the final hurdle.
They have reached this quarterfinal stage in three of the past four years, but have lost on each occasion, most recently falling to second-tier team Cottbus one year ago.
The luck of the draw has them once again paired off against lower-league opposition, but they can be assured a tough matchup against Fürth, one of the team who they could very well be facing in top-flight competition next season.
Despite opening their 2012 schedule with a heavy 3-1 loss at Dynamo Dresden on Friday, the Cloverleaves are still in the midst of a strong season which has them within a single win of the 2. Bundesliga top spot.
Their pre-Christmas Cup win over city rivals Nürnberg showed that they are more than fit to hang with squads in the top division, and adding Hoffenheim's scalp to their collection would surely be a huge boost as they try to set their sights towards a top-three finish in the division.
Hoffenheim should have a full squad available for the game, with the only question mark being on-loan striker Srdjan Lakic, who has been slowed with a gastrointestinal illness in recent days.
For Fürth, the only major absence is starting midfielder Bernd Nehrig, who is suspended for the game after picking up a pair of yellows in their December win over Nürnberg.
Hertha Berlin - Borussia Mönchengladbach
Alfredo Morales will hope a a minor ankle injury will not prevent him from keeping his starting spot in Hertha's defense when they host Borussia Mönchengladbach on Wednesday evening.
An injury to usual right back Christian Lell propelled the young American into Hertha's lineup over the weekend, and with former German youth international still confined to the starting lineup, he should feature again on Wednesday.
The first meeting between these teams in November ended in a disappointing loss for Hertha in their home stadium, and they will certainly have redemption on their minds as they try to come one step closer to the mid-May final in their Olympiastadion home.
The start of 2012 has not been kind to the lone city from Germany's capital toiling in the top flight, with three straight losses pushing them to the edge of the drop zone.
A win over the Foals - who were responsible for knocking current holders Schalke out of the competition in December in a game which has led to much controversy around American midfielder Jermaine Jones - would be a huge confidence boost to Hertha as they try to avoid getting sucked into a relegation battle.
In addition to Lell, the team is also missing midfielder Maik Franz to a knee injury and forward Adrian Ramos to an upper back injury, while Peter Niemeyer remains questionable as he recovers from illness.
The only absence of note for 'Gladbach is Austrian defender Martin Stranzl, who is still suffering from illness.
Terrence Boyd was not included in Dortmund's roster on Tuesday as their 4-0 road win over Holstein Kiel sent them into the final four of the DFB Pokal.