Alen Halilovic not included in Hamburg squad amid poor form

Former Barcelona midfielder Alen Halilovic has not been included in Hamburg's DFB Pokal squad as the Bundesliga strugglers seek to avoid an upset at third-tier side Halle.

Hamburg, who have never been relegated from the Bundesliga, are currently bottom of the table with two points from eight games.

They have not scored since U.S. international Bobby Wood's goal in their 3-1 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen on matchday two, with their goal-less run now at 573 minutes.

Halilovic, who joined HSV from Barca for €5 million in the summer, made his first start for the German club in Friday's 3-0 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt but was substituted at half-time, having made only 22 touches and won one direct duel from a total of eight.

Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol, who replaced Bruno Labbadia on Sept. 25, has now opted to leave Halilovic out of the squad for the cup clash at Halle.

Meanwhile, Hamburg CEO and sporting director Dietmar Beiersdorfer has come under fire from the club's supervisory board, with German media reporting that former club captain Nico-Jan Hoogma could replace Beiersdorfer as sporting director.

Beiersorfer joined Hamburg in 2014 but the former European champions continue to struggle, having been in the relegation zone in 25 of the CEO's 76 games since he arrived at the club.