Two of the most storied clubs in German Cup history, Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen, battle it out in the first semifinal on Tuesday. Werder are out to turn a surprise Cup campaign into a miraculous triumph.
While it would be a major upset should either Hertha Berlin or Werder Bremen advance to to the final, the capital club's chances may be a little better, as they are at home to Dortmund, while Bremen have to face Bayern on the road.
Surprised to be there
Werder Bremen's run to the German Cup semifinals has come as a surprise to many, including members of the club itself. Since they last won the cup in 2009, Werder have exited in the first round three times and lost to lower league opposition on four occasions.
However, having got this far this season, a rematch of the 2010 final, in which Werder were defeated by Bayern Munich, seems to have given the northern Germans an added incentive.
"I have spoken with some of my teammates over the last few days and for us as professionals, winning titles is what we play for," said Werder's captain, Clemens Fritz, at a press conference on Monday.
"I'm excited to play in Munich tomorrow, for the last time before I retire, but hopefully it won't be my last cup game. It's going to special with 8,000 Werder Bremen fans with us. We know we will have great support."
No added incentive will be needed for 37-year-old Werder striker Claudio Pizarro (pictured above, right), who made 327 appearances and scored 125 goals in his two spells over nine years at Bayern.
Still on course for the treble
Bayern Munich, are hoping to repeat their success of 2013, when they won the treble. A Champions League quarterfinal triumph over Benfica last week put them through to the semifinals of that tournament, where they will face Atletico Madrid. The Bundesliga champions are also on course to defend their league title, with a seven-point lead atop the table and only four games to play.
"It's a semifinal tomorrow and every semifinal is difficult," coach Pep Guardiola (above left) told reporters at Monday's press conference.
"We really want to get to the final," Mario Götze said in an article posted on the DFB's website. "It is 90 minutes and we know that anything can happen. We have experience in these situations and nothing is decided yet, so as always, we need to be completely focused."
Bayern confirmed via their Twitter account on Monday that Jerome Boateng, who has been injured since the end of January had returned to training with the team.
However, Boateng as well as the injured Holger Badstuber and Arjen Robben won't be available for Tuesday's semifinal. Werder Bremen remain without long-term absentees Aron Johannsson and Philipp Bargfrede.