DFB Pokal First round: Sunday Preview: The Holders Schalke 04 Begin Defense

The first round of the 2011-2012 DFB Pokal continues on Sunday. Seven matches will feature Bundesliga sides including defending champions Schalke 04 who kick off against amateur side FC Teningren.


FC Oberneuland Vs. FC Ingolstadt 04

The amateur side from Bremen host 2.Bundesliga club looking to get some sort of offense going that can assist them in their season campaign. Ingolstadt forward Caiiuby, on loan from Wolfsburg, definitely needs to find his scoring boots soon if Ingolstadt is looking to have any chance of progressing deep into this tournament.

SpVgg Unterhaching Vs. SC Freiburg

Senegalese forward Papiss Cissé is the man to watch in this match for SC Freiburg. Last season he was excellent and finished second behind Mario Gomez for the golden boot in the Bundesliga.

Karlsruher SC Vs. Alemannia Aachen

This match features two clubs from the 2.Bundesliga. The match will likely hinge on which team can capitalize on the other team's mistakes.

Eimsbütteler TV Vs. SpVgg Greuther Fürth

Greuther Fürth is always on the border of getting promotion to the first division and it never seems to come. Getting an amateur side in the cup can be a good way to kick start your season. Forward Christopher Nöthe could be in for a big night for the visitors.

Anker Wismar Vs. Hannover 96

Hannover will be playing in Europe for the first time ever this season. They'll be looking for a good performance here against Wismar hoping to translate that into a good run of form in the Bundesliga and the Europa League.

ZFC Meuselwitz Vs. Hertha BSC

Hertha are finally back in the big time of the first division and drew amateur side ZFC Meuselwitz. Their big signings this summer were the free transfer of midfielder Andreas Ottl and goalkeeper Thomas Kraft. Both will be instrumental this season for Berlin.

Germania Windeck Vs. 1899 Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim announced this week that Andreas Beck would be remaining at the club. They will be without Vedad Ibišević as he picked up a knock midweek and will be unable to play against the amateur side from Windeck. Hoffenheim will be looking for some production out of Ryan Babel.

FC Teningen Vs. FC Schalke 04

The holders kick off against amateur side FC Teningen. They'll be coming in off of last week's high of beating archrival Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Supercup last weekend on penalties. It will be interesting to see what two holding/defensive midfielders that Ralf Rangnick chooses for this match. Against Dortmund he went with Lewis Holtby and Alexander Baumjohann. There has been talk that we might see Jermaine Jones make his return to the Schalke squad in this match. The real place to keep an eye on is the forward positions. Rangnick has favored the combination of Raul and Klaas Jan Huntelaar since he took over last year. There have been a lot of rumblings over the last few weeks that Raul could be headed back to Spain and particularly to Malaga. We'll have to wait and see.

Hessen Kassel Vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf will be counting on Andreas Lambertz to provide the spark in midfield as they look to advance to the second round of the Pokal against Hessen Kassel.

SVN Zweibrücken Vs. 1. FSV Mainz 05

Mainz purchased Nigerian forward Anthony Ujah from Lillestrøm this summer in a shrewd bit of business. They'll be counting on goals from him and returning forward Sami Allagui to carry the club through the season where they'll be playing in the Europa League.

SC Wiedenbrück 2000 Vs. 1. FC Köln

Köln will be playing their first match in some time without Lukas Podolski leading the club out as captain. New manager Ståle Solbakken has named his captain as Pedro Geromel. This is a situation to keep an eye on for this season. Podolski has given his all for "his club" that he joined in 1995 at the age of 10. With the armband basically being stripped from him, what do we expect from Podolski moving forward?

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