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German Cup: What to watch out for in the last 16

For Dortmund it's a question of priorities but some of the Bundesliga's sleeping giants will welcome their sole shot at glory. And can Lotte upset the odds again? Here's what to look out for in this week's cup games.

Can Lotte hit the jackpot again?

The last 16 of the German Cup contained seven teams from outside the top flight but there's no doubt that Sportfreunde Lotte are the darlings of this season's competition. The tiny club from Germany's north-west were in the regional leagues until last year but have already seen off Bundesliga heavyweights Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen. The 10,000 capacity Frimo Stadion is sure to be rocking once again on Wednesday for the visit of 2nd division 1860 Munich. The Bavarians, who made a high profile appointment earlier in the week, have struggled for consistency this term and lost again at the weekend. A division may divide the teams but there are only 11 places between them in the league pyramid. The home side will fancy their chances of making the last eight.

Who will Tuchel pick?

Deutschland 1. FC Köln gegen Borussia Dortmund

Thomas Tuchel's team are still fighting on three fronts

A win over a Leipzig and suddenly things are looking up again at Dortmund. Their inconsistency in the Bundesliga means Thomas Tuchel's side can all but write off the title for another year and also means the Champions League seems an unlikely goal. Which leaves the German Cup. BVB squeaked through in the last round, requiring penalties to see off Union Berlin. In that match, Tuchel fielded a side peppered with fringe players and almost paid the price. Making the same move against Union's city rivals Hertha would be a bold move. Pal Dardai's side are solid and fit and the Hungarian coach has said he's looking to take the match in to extra time. Tuchel must balance his desire for fresh first teamers with the hunger for silverware. Contrary to the normal thought process, perhaps the Bundesliga game against doomed Darmstadt on Saturday is a better opportunity to rest players ahead of the resumption of the Champions League, against Benfica, on February 14.

Can Hannover prove their Bundesliga credentials?

Deutschland Fußball Bundesliga FC Ingolstadt vs. Hannover 96

Hannover were relegated from the Bundesliga last season

Two of last season's underachievers meet in Hannover on Wednesday and both have turned their form around. Hannover were wretched in finishing bottom of the Bundesliga last term but have bounced back to top Bundesliga 2, while Niko Kovac's Eintracht Frankfurt are third in the top tier after surviving in the relegation play off last time round. For Hannover this is a chance to prove they belong back at the table while the Eagles will want to maintain their momentum as the business end of the season approaches.

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