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Dardai commits to Selke, Gechter, and Schwolow in cup tie

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

Hertha BSC suddenly have the chance to win three fixtures on the bounce with a visit to Preußen Münster in round two of the domestic cup Tuesday night. 

Berliner trainer Pal Dardai revealed some of his lineup selection plans ahead of the meeting with the fourth-tier opponent. 
Davie Selke.
Davie Selke.Photo: Steindy, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
Pal Dardai made clear that, despite the fact that his squad's round-two DFB Pokal opponent currently plays in one of Germany's Regionalliga, Hertha would not commit the fallacy of underestimating them.

"This is a good opponent in a good stadium with many spectators," Dardai said of SC Preußen Münster, "From my point-of-view, the team has the level for the 3rd division."

For Germany's "alte dame", the cup always brings with it added pressure. The final of the DFB-Pokal being held in the team's Olympiastadion means there's always the extra burden of hope that the team can attain the Final in front of its hometown fans.

The road to the Final proved a short-one. Eintracht Braunschweig threw Hertha out of the competition in the very first round.

Dardai made specific commitments when it came to positions all across the pitch. His lead striker will be none other than the player who scored the lone goal against SV Meppen in this year's opening round.

"Last time, Davie Selke saved us," Dardai noted, "Davie should play from the start. Krzysztof [Piatek] should get a break. Ishak [Belfodil] should also be ready because we'll need him from the start."

In terms of the defensive personnel available for the match, Dardai confirmed that son Marton will remain in Berlin to continue to rehab his muscle injury. The same will apply to veteran Niklas Stark. Both will be needed for the upcoming league encounter against Hoffenheim on Friday night.

Dardai seemed to suggest that captain Dedryck Boyata and recent young debutant Linus Gechter would pair in central defense.

"Dedryck is eager to play," Dardai said, "He feels really comfortable. Linus came in really well against Gladbach. With him we not only have a great talent but a reliable central defender."

Gechter actually only made a brief relief appearance against Gladbach, but has done well in two other longer relief appearances during the current campaign. Perhaps mindful of the fact that there might be many new faces in his defensive corps, Dardai also committed to first-choice keeper Alexander Schwolow in goal.

The cup ordinarily being an opportunity to test drive back-up net minders, Dardai revealed that he felt the time had not yet come for the highly touted Oliver Christensen.

"We have considered this internally and will leave Schwolow in goal tomorrow," he said, "We have great confidence in Oliver Christensen, but don't want to throw him in without match practice."

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