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DFB Pokal: Hamburg look to make DFB Pokal mark

The semi-finals of the DFB Pokal take place this midweek with Hamburg seeking to represent the Bundesliga 2 as they face Freiburg.

(This article was originally published on 18.04.2022)

A giant of German football in the 70s and 80s, Hamburg are currently taking part in their fourth season of second-tier football following a disastrous relegation in 2018 but are showing signs of getting back into life.

Freiburg will be a tough assignment though as they sit fifth in the top flight and are seeking a tilt at European football next year.

The other semi-final concerns two of the top six as RB Leipzig, now established as one of the powerhouses of German football, face Union Berlin, who have had a magnificent rise in the last few years.

It is Leipzig who are the ones to beat at 4/6, with Union Berlin 7/2, Freiburg 5/1 and Hamburg 8/1 for outright glory. You can follow the action via our European Soccer Live Streaming Highlights.

Hamburg eager to arrest poor recent form

Hamburg have finished fourth in each of their three seasons competing in Bundesliga 2, missing out on promotion by narrow margins each year.

This season may go the same way if they do not improve what has been a poor 2022 so far.

In the past eight games, they have only managed to win two and they now occupy sixth place in the league, five points adrift of St Pauli who are third and thus set to qualify for the promotion play off.

However, Hamburg's run to the semis could mean so much more for a club that have been in the doldrums for a long while.

Three years ago, they made the semi-finals while in the second tier but on that occasion were beaten by Leipzig.

Aside from that, there has been little to shout about and manager Tim Walter will hope to be the one to steer them back to good times.

Freiburg will be looking to stop them in their tracks and they will be very tough opponents to crack as they lie fifth, on the coattails of the Champions League places.

Solidity has been the name of their game this season with only Bayern Munich and Leipzig possessing better defensive records.

The only defeat they have suffered in their last nine came against Bayern and they can be backed at 4/7 to advance to the final, with Hamburg 5/4.

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Leipzig aim for maiden trophy triumph

RB Leipzig have only existed for a mere 12 years so it is unsurprising to see that they haven't yet claimed a major trophy, and this could be one of their best chances.

Domenico Tedesco's side have won four matches to get to this stage without conceding a goal, and they come into the game on the back of an excellent run both domestically and in Europe.

They have gone nine matches unbeaten in the Bundesliga (unsurprisingly, Bayern were their last conquerors) and they are into the semi-finals of the Europa League, where they will face Rangers.

Union Berlin are polar opposites to Leipzig in many ways, which makes the tie quite intriguing.

Viewed as a "cult" club, Berlin have done things the hard way and ended a 29-year stint outside the top flight in 2019 when they earned promotion.

They have rocketed up the standings and played Europa Conference League football earlier this season - somewhere they are hoping to be once again.

One of their best results this season came in the DFB Pokal round of 16 where they defeated local rivals Hertha 3-2 and three wins in a row ensures they come into this game in good form.

They can be backed to advance to the final at 10/3 with RB Leipzig 1/5.

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