The two Borussias - BVB and VfL, Dortmund and Gladbach - have gone head-to-head with one another a total of 120 times. But across this long shared history, the two have only met twice before in the DFB Cup. Wednesday evening will see the two giants of German football battle it out in a knock-out match for the third time, and indeed the first time ever in BVB's home in Dortmund.
Whenever Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach have met before in the DFB Cup, it's always been in the second round, always towards the end of October. This was the case back in 1986, when the two met on 24 October, and it was true once again in 2003, when the two clubs went head-to-head on 29 October. Both of these encounters were held in Mönchengladbach, and on both occasions, it was the home side that emerged victorious. In 1986, Gladbach ran out comprehensive 6-1 winners at the Bökelberg, while in 2003, they won 2-1 at their new Nordpark stadium. This year, the two will meet once more at the end of October (the 30th, to be precise) in the second round of the competition. However, one thing is different to previous years: this time, BVB are the hosts.
Eleven days after the Bundesliga duel against Gladbach, which BVB just edged 1-0, Reus and co. will be determined to get back to winning ways after the disappointing performances in Milan (a 2-0 loss) and Gelsenkirchen (0-0). ''We're lacking a sense of ease and natural flow at the moment,'' lamented the club captain on Saturday, while Sporting Director Michael Zorc, for his part, bemoaned a lack of ''free-flowing technical play. It all looks a bit laboured at the moment.''
''There's a lot of self-reflection going on at the moment, we're not happy with ourselves. We wanted to show what we are capable of, especially from a footballing point of view,'' said Reus in the stadium's press room. ''We weren't able to do that for the first 70 minutes, which isn't good enough. We need to raise the bar.'' Zorc: ''We'll turn it around on Wednesday.''
Recent history certainly favours the Black & Yellows going into Wednesday's match against the team from the Lower Rhine. BVB have come out on top in the last nine encounters between the two sides: their longest current winning streak against any one club. Reus has called on the fans to play their part on Wednesday night: ''We have to stand together, especially in situations like this. That's what has always set this club apart, and hopefully it can set us apart once more now. None of us expected this to be easy, none of us thought we would just stroll through the league picking teams apart at will.''
Third place in the league as things stand on Saturday evening, the last 16 of the DFB Cup in sight. ''We need to get out of this situation we're in, which I wouldn't quite call a crisis, and we need to do so with hard work and a sense of fun. We will come back from this and find our footballing flow once more, even if it seems like we're way off the pace at the moment,'' said Reus, who had one final message going into the big game on Wednesday at Signal Iduna Park: ''We need to pull together and show our desire to win.''