S04 to host Eintracht Frankfurt in DFB-Pokal semis
FC Schalke 04 have been handed a home tie in the semi-finals of this season’s DFB-Pokal, with Eintracht Frankfurt the visitors to the VELTINS-Arena in the final four on either 17th or 18th April 2018.
The other semi-final will see Bayer 04 Leverkusen host Bayern Munich. The draw was made by Germany goalkeeping coach Andreas Köpke on Sunday evening.
Eintracht Frankfurt were 3-0 winners over 1. FSV Mainz 05 in their quarterfinal, while the Royal Blues beat VfL Wolfsburg 1-0. Schalke have also seen off BFC Dynamo (2-0), SV Wehen-Wiesbaden (3-1) and 1. FC Köln (1-0) on their way to the semis.
Schalke and Frankfurt have met seven times before in the DFB-Pokal, although a 2-2 draw in a last-16 tie in January 1977 led to a replay a few days later, which the Eagles won. The other six ties have seen both clubs progress three times each.
Head coach Domenico Tedesco: “The other three teams left always meant we were going to have a tough game. Eintracht Frankfurt are a robust team with great chemistry and real quality, and they fully deserve to be fighting for Europe in the Bundesliga. We’re delighted that we will be able to take on this challenge at home with our fans behind us.”
Sporting director Christian Heidel: “Both us and Eintracht Frankfurt will have been hoping for that pairing. We’re up against fourth in the table – it won’t be easy. We want to take this chance of reaching the final in Berlin together with our fans.”
Captain Ralf Fährmann: “I was hoping for a home match. We’re up against a side that managed to reach the final last year, and that will no doubt motivate them. An advantage for us is having our fans behind us. The atmosphere in the VELTINS-Arena will spur us on. We’re determined to make it to Berlin!”
Bastian Oczipka: “I’m absolutely buzzing for a cup tie against my old teammates. Some people might think that a home game against Frankfurt is the best draw we could have gotten, but Eintracht are very strong away from home, as we’ve seen time and again in the Bundesliga this season. Still, I’m optimistic that we can get the job done and be in Berlin in May.”
Naldo: “I think that our fans will provide us with tremendous support. It’s no doubt an advantage for us. Frankfurt are a compact team that play with lots of aggression, and they’ve really impressed in the past weeks and months. Nevertheless, it’s a draw we’ll take. I’m convinced that we can make it to the final.”