Borussia Dortmund will be hoping the DFB-Pokal provides some welcome relief from its Bundesliga woes.
Dortmund travel to 2.Bundesliga club St Pauli in the second round on Wednesday amid a six-game winless streak in Germany's top flight that has left it languishing just a point above the relegation playoff spot.
Jurgen Klopp's side tasted defeat for the fourth game in succession after slumping to a 1-0 defeat at home to Hannover 96.
Dortmund is at a loss to explain the worrying league slump but the 2012 champion - finalists last season - will be looking to the UEFA Champions League for inspiration, having won all three group games to date.
"It's becoming difficult to find an explanation [for our poor form]," said Dortmund captain Mats Hummels.
"It's no use talking about an undeserved defeat against Hannover, that won't get us anywhere. We had many, many chances to make it 1-0, but we didn't manage to do that.
"Our opponents then score with their first or second shot at goal. It's very tough at the moment. Everything that can go wrong is going wrong in the Bundesliga."
Bundesliga teams Werder Bremen, Hertha Berlin, Hannover 96 and Cologne are also in action.
Six-time champion Bremen is away to third-tier club Chemnitzer FC, 3.Bundesliga leader Arminia Bielefeld plays host to Hertha, Hannover faces second division outfit Aalen, while Cologne goes head-to-head with MSV Duisburg.
On Thursday, defending champion Bayern Munich faces Bundesliga rival Hamburg at Imtech Arena.
Bayern - three points clear at the league summit - has been impeccable this season after losing to Dortmund in August's German Super Cup.
Pep Guardiola's Bayern has not lost the 12 competitive games since and has scored a whopping 17 goals in the past three matches.
Alarming for Hamburg is the fact that it has failed to win any of the past five games on home soil.
Elsewhere on Thursday, Bayer Leverkusen - cup winners in 1993 - travels to Magdeburg.
Wurzburger Kickers hosts Eintracht Braunschweig, Freiburg visits 1860 Munich and Hoffenheim plays FSV Frankfurt.
RB Leipzig tackles Erzgebirge Aue for a place in the third round, Wolfsburg is at home to Heidenheim, while Borussia Monchengladbach makes the trek to Eintracht Frankfurt in an all-Bundesliga affair.