Holstein Kiel's only previous appearance in a cup semi-final came 80 years ago. The Storks are hoping to write history on Saturday. Here's everything you need to know about the opposition - their strengths and their (few) weaknesses.  

A few goals go a long way

Holstein Kiel have had the fewest number of shots on goal of all 18 teams in the Bundesliga 2, with just 308 attempts throughout the season. Their strikers have only found the back of the net 11 times, while their 43 season goals (10th in the league) have been scored by just nine different players.

The best defence in Bundesliga 2

The promotion candidates' greatest strength is undoubtedly their defence. Their total of 27 goals conceded is by far the lowest figure in the division. Bochum and Fürth come in next with 36 goals, while Hamburg have conceded 38. Their backline have proved impenetrable when defending balls into the box - only two goals have come from crosses. They're also adept at shutting down counter-attacking opportunities, having conceded just three goals on the break. The only potential crack in the defence is on the left side, where they've conceded 10 goals, over three times as many as on the right (three). Their strongest tacklers are Johannes van den Bergh and Jonas Meffert, who have both won 59% of their challenges. 

Dortmunders in Kiel

After the recent injury to starting goalkeeper Ioannis Gelios (just 24 goals conceded in 24 games, 72% save rate), Dominik Reimann has found himself sitting on the bench. The now 23-year-old previously played for Borussia Dortmund at youth level, winning German Championship titles in 2014 and 2016 with the U16s and U19s respectively. He has been a Holstein Kiel player since 2018 and has turned out for the club in 15 Bundesliga 2 matches. Another player from the BVB youth set-up is Janni Serra...

The retrained defender

Janni Serra won three titles during his time at the Borussia Dortmund academy: in 2015 he helped the U16s win the German Championship and then celebrated back-to-back wins with the U19s in 2016 and 2017. His former coach at BVB, Hannes Wolf, retrained the central-defender as a powerful goalscoring centre-forward. Serra joined VfL Bochum on loan for the second half of the 2017/18 season before securing a permanent move to Kiel. He has scored 30 goals and provided 11 assists in his 82 appearances for the club thus far. Saturday 3-1 win away to VfL Osnabrück marked the 23-year-old's return from a seven-week absence, and he didn't need long to get going, as he scored the opening goal of the game early on. He grabbed his ninth goal of the season in Tuesday's 1-1 draw away to Nuremberg - with his head of course. The 1.93-metre tall striker has had 20 headed efforts on goal this season - more than any other player in the Bundesliga 2. ''Unfortunately he had a lot of bad luck with injuries in the transition stage between youth and senior level with us,'' says sporting director Michael Zorc, adding: ''He's developed really well since then and is a powerful player with great aerial ability.''

Twice in quarantine

After Kiel came out of their team quarantine at the beginning of April, they lost two straight games - and then had to go immediately back into isolation. This time around, they came back with a win (3-1 in Osnabrück) and a draw (1-1 in Nuremberg on Tuesday) to fire themselves back into contention for promotion. The postponed matches and the cup semi-final mean that Holstein have a packed schedule: last Saturday's game in Osnabrück was the first of six matches in the space of 17 days. 

Kiel's road to the semi-finals

The 7-1 first-round win away to 1. FC Rielasingen-Arlen (Borussia's first-round opponents in 2017/18) was followed by an upset which rocked German football: on 13 January, second-tier Kiel came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Bayern Munich and then knocked out the Bavarian giants in a penalty shoot-out (6-5). The Storks also needed penalties to get past Darmstadt 98 (7-6) in the next round before celebrating a comfortable 3-0 win away to Rot-Weiss Essen in the quarter-finals.

Never beyond the semi-finals

Cup success has been hard to come by for Holstein. Their run to the quarter-finals in 2011/12 (ultimately losing 4-0 to BVB) was their biggest success since the 1940s. The Storks have only reached the semi-finals of a German cup competition on one previous occasion: 80 years ago - on 12 October 1941, during the Second World War - Holstein Kiel travelled to the Ruhr region to play Schalke 04, losing 6-0. 

Past success

Kiel's chances of making it to the Bundesliga are looking good: although they are four points off the direct promotion places, their rescheduled fixtures mean they have two games in hand over their competitors. If successful, they will become the first club from Schleswig Holstein to play in the Bundesliga. That said, they've previously been crowned German champions, although the success came in 1912 - 51 years before the establishment of the Bundesliga. The club also finished as runners-up on two occasions (1910 and 1930).

Compiled by Boris Rupert