“The boys have been giving 100% in our preparation” said Weinzierl, who is taking his place as head coach for the first time in a competitive fixture. The 41-year old said he was pleased with the performances in the pre-season friendlies, adding that it was visible that “the foundations are already strong.” Weinzierl knows his team are clear favourites for the upcoming game and expects a “commanding” performance to see them through to the next round.
FC Villingen 08 qualified for the DFB Cup by virtue of winning the Southern Baden Cup. Their home, The ebm-papst-Stadion, is currently undergoing structural work, so the sixth tier outfit have been allowed to use SC Freiburg’s Schwarzwald-Stadion, which itself holds 25,000.
Schalke have a number of options when it comes to personnel. “Every player has participated in training and they are all eagerly anticipating the match” the coach remarked. He remains unsure as to whether Benedikt Höwedescan participate after being withdrawn late from the starting eleven ahead of the final friendly against Athletic Bilbao with a minor thigh injury, but Weinzierl confirmed that Bernard Tekpetey will be unavailable.
Also certainly unavailable is Leon Goretzka. The midfielder suffered a shoulder injury which forced him to leave the Olympics squad prematurely, and while he is currently training again, he can only do so individually for the time-being. With an increase in training intensity he should be able to return to full team training in the coming week.
Max Meyer remains in Brazil, where he will play in the Olympic final against the hosts a few hours after the DFB Cup match. On the Schalke academy graduate, Weinzierl noted that “the whole team has its fingers crossed for Max. We all hope that the German side and he can bring home the gold medal.”