BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 12: Sebastian Kehl (C) of Dortmund celebrates with his team mates and Joachim Gauck, federal president of Germany winning the DFB Cup final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympic Stadium on May 12, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Borussia Dortmund begin their title defense against FC Oberneuland.
The 2012-2013 DFB Pokal first round kicks off this weekend with matches on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. As is customary, the first round contains the 18 Bundesliga clubs from last season and the 2.Bundesliga clubs that finished 1-14 in one pot drawn against 2.Bundesliga sides 15-18, the top 4 3.Liga sides, and other clubs that won their regional tournaments.
Well, let's just get right to it, shall we?
Friday, August 17
Sonnenhof Großaspach vs FSV Frankfurt
Lübeck vs Eintracht Braunschweig
After a more than solid first half of the 2011-12 season, Eintracht Braunschweig went into the dump for the second half. With only two wins in their last eighteen matches, Braunschweig found themselves out of the promotion race. They're a team that I plan on keeping an eye on this season in the 2.Bundesliga, and it starts in their first round match against Regionalliga side VfB Lübeck. They won their way into this year's DFB Pokal by winning the Schleswig-Holstein Cup.
Wilhelmshaven vs Augsburg
Saturday, August 18
Hallescher vs Duisburg
Oberneuland vs Borussia Dortmund
The champions kick off their title defense on Saturday against fifth division side FC Oberneuland. Expect BVB to make quick work of their opponents in this contest. We will hopefully get to see Mario Götze and Marco Reus on the pitch for significant time together in this one. Expect BVB to win ... and win big.
Unterhaching vs Köln
Falkensee-Finkenkrug vs Stuttgart
Victoria Hamburg vs Freiburg
Offenburger vs St. Pauli
Alemannia Aachen vs Borussia Mönchengladbach
I'm picking this match, because I'm excited to see the new look Borussia Mönchengladbach take the pitch in an official match. Tuesday, they'll begin their UEFA Champions League campaign in the first leg of their playoff against Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv. It will be interesting to see how well their new players fit in the squad with the departure of Marco Reus, Dante, and Roman Neustädter.
Carl Zeiss Jena vs Bayer Leverkusen
Berliner AK vs Hoffenheim
Heidenheim vs Bochum
Schönberg vs Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg have a point to prove this year in the Pokal after being unceremoniously dumped out of the first round last year by Regionalliga side RB Leipzig. Felix Magath has spent millions rebuilding (and by "rebuilding" I mean "adding depth on depth on depth") this squad over the last nine months. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the Wolfsburg locker room if they somehow don't win this game.
Kickers Offenbach vs Greuther Fürth
Sunday, August 19
Nöttingen vs Hannover 96
Wormatia Worms vs Hertha Berlin
Karlsruher vs Hamburg
Hamburg have been improving since they started so beyond the pale at the beginning of last season. Thorsten Fink's side needs to get their season started with a solid performance against recently-relegated-from-the-2.Bundesliga Karlsruher.
Havelse vs Nürnberg
Hennef 05 vs 1860 Munich
Aalen vs Ingolstadt
Arminia Bielefeld vs Paderborn
Preußen Münster vs Werder Bremen
Werder Bremen have been retooling their side this summer with some interesting additions. I'm especially keen on seeing how wingers Eljero Elia and Kevin De Bruyne perform in this side. They're both exciting players and could go a long way toward seeing Bremen back in European competition next year.
Erzgebirge Aue vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Saarbrücken vs Schalke 04
Wacker Burghausen vs Fortuna Düsseldorf
Hansa Rostock vs Kaiserslautern
SV Roßbach/Verscheid vs Mainz 05
Monday, August 20
Sandhausen vs Energie Cottbus
Rot-Weiss Essen vs Union Berlin
Chemnitzer vs Dynamo Dresden
Jahn Regensburg vs Bayern Munich
The new Supercup winners will take on newly promoted (to the 2.Bundesliga) side Jahn Regensburg. I expect a route. We'll hopefully get to see Xherdan Shaqiri get a decent run out in this match after not getting a lot of minutes against BVB on Sunday.