Borussia Dortmund take to domestic action for the first time under Thomas Tuchel on Sunday when they travel to third-tier Chemnitzer in the DFB-Pokal.
Since replacing Jurgen Klopp in June, Tuchel has only lost one game during pre-season, while he has also overseen victories in each of the club’s competitive matches in the UEFA Europa League.
The latest of those wins was a comprehensive 5-0 success against Wolfsberger on Thursday, a result that saw Tuchel’s side progress from the third qualifying round 6-0 on aggregate.
Dortmund have since been drawn against Odd in the play-off round but, before they turn their attentions to the Norwegian side, they have a cup clash at home to deal with.
In recent years, Dortmund have performed strongly in the Pokal, winning the competition in 2012 and reaching the final in 2014 and 2015.
A semi-final victory over Bayern Munich last term gave Klopp the chance to bow out with a trophy in his final game in charge, only for Wolfsburg to claim a 3-1 success.
Tuchel will hope to see a replica of the dominant performances Dortmund produced in the early stages of last year’s Pokal, when they brushed aside Stuttgart Kickers and St Pauli.
Dortmund have not exited the competition in the first round since 2005-06, when they were beaten by Eintracht Braunschweig, and Mats Hummels is keen to keep that run going on Sunday.
“From the outset we must give the opponent the feeling that there is nothing to pick up against us,” he said. “Then we can be spared a cup surprise.”
Chemnitzer have made a stuttering start to their league campaign and threw away a lead against Hansa Rostock last weekend on their way to a second successive draw.
Yet they should not be underestimated, after producing a first-round shock last term as they dumped out Bundesliga side Mainz on penalties.
A dramatic tie saw Chemnitzer come from behind on two occasions to reach full-time with the score 3-3. The goals kept on coming in extra-time and they were denied victory by Johannes Geis’ late equaliser as the match finished 5-5 after 120 minutes.
Nevertheless, it was Chemnitzer who ultimately prevailed and they will now seek to pull off an even bigger upset.
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