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Opponent analysis: DFB-Pokal first round tie vs. VfL Osnabrück

VfL recently promoted to Bundesliga 2 | Three points from the first two games | Coach Thioune earned his coaching badges alongside Julian Nagelsmann | Three meetings so far, including the memorable cup match in 2015

The 2019/20 season is just around the corner! The first competitive game of the new campaign sees RB Leipzig take on VfL Osnabrück in the first round of DFB-Pokal on Sunday at 15:30 CEST. The newly-promoted Bundesliga 2 side from Lower Saxony are already into the swing of competitive action, having already played two league matches this season.
 
We've taken a closer look at RBL's opponents in Sunday's cup tie...

SO FAR THIS season

Three points from two games – not a bad start for a newly-promoted team. VfL kick off their Bundesliga 2 campaign with an unfortunate 3-1 home loss to Heidenheim, despite taking a 1-0 lead. They followed that up with a 1-0 win in Sandhausen on matchday 2, earning them their first three points of the season. After the DFB-Pokal weekend, they return to league action a week on Monday against Darmstadt. 

Osnabrück stormed their way through the 3. Liga in 2018/19, picking up 76 points from their 38 games, finishing well ahead of Karlsruhe (71) and Wehen Wiesbaden (70). VfL were promoted to the second division for the first time in eight years.

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During his career, Daniel Thioune (left) also played for LR Ahlen. Here he is up against now Bayer Leverkusen player Julian Baumgartlinger in a meeting with 1860 München.

Head Coach

Daniel Thioune is Osnabrück born and bred. The head coach with Senaglese roots was born only 10 kilometers away and spent most of his playing career at VfL (65 goals in 170 games). His first coaching role was with Osnabrück’s U17s and then their U19s, before he was promoted to head coach of the first team in November 2017. 

Currently, the 45-year-old is the only black head coach in the top three divisions in Germany. He also earned his coaching badges alongside Julian Nagelsmann.

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Osnabrück’s Kevin Wolve (2nd from left) spent several season with MSV Duisburg, playing against RBL along the way.

Key players

Kevin Wolze is by far the most experienced player in the Osnabrück squad, with 151 appearances in the second division under his belt. The VfL Wolfsburg youth product spent eight years at MSV Duisburg before moving to the Bremer Brücke this summer. However, in the opening league match of the season against Heidenheim, the 29-year-old was sent off after a second bookable offence and was suspended for matchday 2 against Heidenheim. Wolze is now eligible to play again in the DFB-Pokal though.

Osnabrück's recent win against Sandhausen was mostly thanks to Marcos Alvarez. Despite only being brough on as a substitute in the 74th minute, the German-Spaniard netted the winner just five minutes later to earn VfL their first points of the season. The 27-year-old was a regular in the recent 3. Liga campaign, finishing as the club's top scorer with 11 goals. He's been limited to appearances off the bench so far this term, but has already demonstrated his efficienty in front of goal. 

Marc Heider played for VfL at youth level and also turned pro at his beloved Osnabrück. However, he left for ten years, playing for at Werder Bremen and Holstein Kiel, before returning to Osnabrück in 2016. Now, the 33-year-old wears the captain’s armband and is a key player at the club.

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After the DFB-Pokal tie in 2015 was abandoned, Leipzig were awarded a 2-0 win.

Previous meetings

The 2013/14 3. Liga campaign provide the only league meetings between Die Roten Bullen and Osnabrück. Both teams won their home game - VfL won 3-2 with Heidinger and Poulsen scoring for RBL, while Leipzig secured a 1-0 victory at the Red Bull Arena courtesy of Frahn.

The third and most memorable of the sides' meetings was in August 2015, also in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. Osnabrück were 1-0 up before the referee was hit by a lighter thrown by Osnabrück fans in the 71st minute. The match was abandoned, with RBL then being awarded a 2-0 victory.

151 BL2 games
Osnabrück's Kevin Wolze is an experienced Bundesliga 2 player

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