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DFB Cup

Make the home advantage count

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If Borussia Dortmund are to achieve their aim of reaching the DFB Cup Round of 16 – thus remaining in the competition into the New Year – they will need to beat league leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach at home on Wednesday (20:45 CET). Were they to do so, it would be the 10th time they have beaten the Foals in 11 matches.

The Black & Yellows, who claimed a narrow, hard-fought yet deserved 1-0 home victory against Gladbach in the Bundesliga 10 days ago, have the significantly superior recent head-to-head record. They tend to do well at home in this competition too: before their penalty shootout exit to Werder Bremen at Signal Iduna Park in February 2019, Dortmund had won eight successive cup ties in front of their own supporters.

"We have the home advantage. We should make it count. Because we won't be able to fix it once it's over," said sporting director Michael Zorc. "We respect every opponent but we don't fear any opponent," said head coach Lucien Favre, who added: "We need to be very clever. Gladbach are on a good run at the moment and they press very well."

In the days since the derby, the squad has been working on circumventing the opposition press and using it to their own advantage. "We need to be quicker and to play with only one touch much more frequently to avoid the opponent's press. We need to make progress in that respect," said Favre. "And we need to improve our finishing too."

The Swiss tactician is still without Paco Alcácer and Marcel Schmelzer, while Roman Bürki remains doubtful. "He's doing better. Much better. Let's see today," said Favre of his compatriot, who had been suffering from illness. Both Bürki and his fellow Swiss shot-stopper Marwin Hitz played between the sticks in the league encounter on 19 October, each making a key contribution as the Black & Yellows kept a clean sheet.

While the statistics make for good reading for BVB, the same cannot be said for BMG: the Foals suffered a 5-0 home loss to Leverkusen at this stage this term, exiting the cup in the Second Round for the ninth time this century.
Boris Rupert