2011-2012 DFB Pokal First Round: Friday Preview

The first round in the 2011-2012 DFB Pokal begins this weekend. The first round of the cup is designed for upsets. The 18 Bundesliga clubs are matched up against, at best, a mid-table 2.Bundesliga club. For a full review of the draw and how it's structured, you'll want to check here.

The tournament kicks off Friday afternoon, continuing Saturday and Sunday before Bayern Munich's match against Eintracht Braunschweig on Monday.

Friday

Rot-Weiß Essen Vs. Union Berlin

The Regionalliga side (fourth division) will be hosting the second division side from Berlin. Union have struggled in their first two matches two start their 2.Bundesliga campaign, and I don't think it's completely out of the picture to see the lower division club spring the upset.

RB Leipzig Vs. Wolfsburg

After their disastrous season last year which nearly saw them relegated, expect Wolfsburg to come out and make an early statement for their intentions on this upcoming season against the fourth division side from Leipzig. Felix Magath will have his team ready to run all day, and they should make light work of their opponents. Oh yes, in case you didn't know, the "RB" in "RB Leipzig" stands for Red Bull. Yeah, they own a German club too.

FC Saarbrücken Vs. Erzgebirge Aue

In the least glamorous tie of the day, newly-promoted-to-the-3.Liga side Saarbrücken hosts second division Erzgebirge Aue.

Jahn Regensburg Vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach

'Gladbach scraped through their promotion playoff scare by the tiny hair on their chinny chin chin. So far this summer they've been able to hold on to Brazilian defender Dante which is remarkable in and of itself. They'll take on solid 3.Liga mid-table club Jahn Regensburg in what should be quite the interesting match. Of note: Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger's older brother Tobias Schweinsteiger plays for Jahn Regensburg.

SV Wehen Wiesbaden Vs. Stuttgart

Stuttgart struggled in the Bundesliga last season and will be looking to immediately turn that around this season. Wehen Wiesbaden missed out on the 3.Liga's promotion playoff spot by only one point last season. This year they'll be pushing hard for one of the two automatic promotion places. A rejuvenated Stuttgart side should come out on top in this one.

Osnabrück Vs. 1860 Munich

After finally appearing to have squared away the majority of their off the field problems with the new financial investment, this season is massive for 1860 to begin their move back to the Bundesliga. They finished mid-table in the 2.Bundesliga last season, and their supporters would love a nice cup run to get that "winning spirit" back among the club. After losing the relegation playoff last year down to the 3.Liga, Osnabrück will be hoping to make the jump right back to the 2.Bundesliga. Is the cup a distraction they want/need?

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