DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The pairings for the third round of the German Cup were set over the weekend, setting up heated local derbies for both Schalke's Jermaine Jones and Nürnberg defender Timothy Chandler.
With the field of contestants whittled down to 16 teams, the holiday-season round of games includes a trio of local derbies, with one in particular sure to make the headlines.
Timothy Chandler and FC Nürnberg will host neighboring 2. Bundesliga team SpVgg Greuther Fürth in the classic Franken Derby. These two traditional rivals have squared off more than 250 times in their history, although with the teams usually positioned in different leagues in recent years, December's game will be a rare treat.
Nürnberg held on for a narrow 2-1 win at 2. Bundesliga team Aue to progress, while Fürth made short work of SC Paderborn with a 4-0 blow-out win to set up the match.
On the other side of the country, Jermaine Jones and Schalke will make the short drive across the Rhein river to face Borussia Mönchengladbach. The two teams have enjoyed strong starts to the season, with Schalke occupying second place and the Foals surprisingly sitting in fifth.
Under new coach Huub Stevens, Jones has reclaimed his spot in Schalke's starting lineup, and played the full 90 minute in the 2-0 win at Karlsruhe that saw them through to the final 16.
'Gladbach made matters more difficult for themselves ini the previous round, needing a penalty shootout to finally fight past 3. Liga team Heidenheim after a scoreless 120 minutes.
The German-American duo of Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson both saw the field in Hoffenheim's 2-1 second round win over Cologne, and have been rewarded with a home matchup against recently-promoted FC Augsburg, who are considered likely candidates for relegation in their first-ever season in the German top flight.
Alfredo Morales has been a regular on Hertha's bench with occasional time on the field as a substitute, and could play a part when the Berlin-based team hosts Kaiserslautern.
Borussia Dortmund forward Terrence Boyd has proven to be a potent scoring force for the reserve team of the reigning Bundesliga champions, and was recently included on the bench for the first team.
It is doubtful, however, that he will be called into action for their third-round game at current 2. Bundesliga leaders Fortuna Düsseldorf, as head coach Jürgen Klopp will undoubtedly be fielding the strongest lineup in an effort to push the team to what would be only their third German Cup title.
All games in this round will be played on Tuesday, December 20.
German Cup third round draw
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - FC Augsburg
Hertha Berlin - FC Kaiserslautern
Fortuna Düsseldorf - Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Mönchengladbach - FC Schalke 04
FC Nürnberg - SpVgg Greuther Fürth