The cliched David vs Goliath scenario will be prevalent as Bayern travel North-West to face SV Drochtersen/Assel in the first round of the DFB Cup.
First round of cup ties have always been a special moment for Bundesliga clubs playing well below the top division and such case will be prevalent for SV Drochtersen/Assel when they meet Bayern Munich on Saturday.
The club from the Lower Saxony play in the Regionalliga Nord, which is the fourth division of German football. And they are excited by the opportunity of hosting a European supergiant like Bayern for obvious reasons. In fact, ahead of the game, Drochtersen’s mayor Mike Eckhoff clarified that he is indeed excited to host the Bavarian giants, which is certainly once in a lifetime opportunity for the club’s fans and players alike.
For that reason, the club are also increasing the capacity of the Kehdinger stadium from 3,000 to 7,500 by using temporary seating.
Bayern, on the other hand, will be full of confidence as Niko Kovac looks to continue his side’s impressive form after beating Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Supercup. The Croatian mastermind has worked hard during the pre-season preparation and it will be interesting to whether his plans come to fruition this season.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we run the rule over these two sides before they lock-horns against each-other this weekend.
Team news & tactics
Kovac is expected to make a few changes from the side that registered an emphatic 5:0 win over Frankfurt though we can expect him to retain the same 4-1-4-1 formation.
Manuel Neuer will make way for second choice keeper Sven Ulreich, who will be keen on making a mark after a mixed preseason campaign.
In defence, Niklas Sule will retain his place in the starting lineup alongside Mats Hummels. Both of these defenders have looked great in pre-season. Sule, in particular, is destined for great things following speculations surrounding the future of Jerome Boateng.
The former Hoffenheim defender will be tasked with the responsibility of using his physical prowess to keep the sharp Drochtersen attacker at bay. Elsewhere in defence, Joshua Kimmich will also retain his place in the right-back position but Rafinha will be introduced to the team at the expense of David Alaba, who is suffering from a knee injury.
Javi Martinez has surprisingly played a key role under Kovac and he will be expected to retain his place at the heart of Bayern’s 4-1-4-1, partnered by the duo of Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka in a slightly advanced position.
Bayern’s attack will be led by Robert Lewandowski, who scored a hattrick in the win over Eintracht. The Polish international will be partnered by the wide-duo of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Sule, Hummels, Rafinha; Martinez; Robben, Muller, Goretzka, Ribery; Lewandowski.
Led by a promising young coach in the shape of Lars Uder, Drochtersen/Assel has been doing well in the Regionalliga Nord, securing ten points from their first five games.
They are coming on the back of a 3:2 win over Germania Egestorf in their last match and we can expect Uder not to make many changes this weekend.
Patrick Siefkes will remain in goal and will be guarded by a four-man defensive backline comprising of Meikel Klee, Laurens Rogowski, Soren Behrmann and Julian Stohr. Club captain Behrmann, who is a former academy graduate of Eintracht Braunschweig, was in attendance during Bayern’s friendly against Hamburg.
In midfield, we can expect the duo of Nico Mau and Sven Zopfgen to sit in at the base of Drochtersen’s 4-4-2 formation with Florian Nagel and Jannes Elfers being deployed on the wings.
The attack will be led by the duo of Marcel Andrijanic and Jasper Gooßen, both of whom found the back of the net in the win over Germania Egestorf.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Siefkes; Klee, Rogowski, Behrmann, Stohr; Nagel, Mau, Zopfgen, Elfers; Andrijanic, Gooßen.
- This is the first competitive meeting between these two clubs.
- Claudio Pizarro (30) is the only active player with more DFB Cup goals than Thomas Müller(27). Lewandowski is next on the list with 26.
- Lewandowski has scored six goals in his last three first-round appearances.
- Only Oliver Kahn (31) has kept more clean sheets in the DFB Cup than Manuel Neuer (26).
- Kovac has only lost one of his 12 DFB Cup matches as a coach, reaching the final in both campaigns with Frankfurt. He won the league and cup double as a player with Bayern in 2002/03.
- Bayern have twice fallen in the first round (1990/91 and 1994/95) and have not lost to lower league opposition since Alemannia Aachen in 2003/04.
Player to watch out for
As iterated earlier, all eyes will be on Lewandowski who will keen on extending his goalscoring tally after scoring three goals against Eintracht Frankfurt.
It goes without saying that stopping this highly rated Polish international will be imperative if they are to put in a strong challenge to the German champions this weekend.
The former Borussia Dortmund superstar had a disappointing World Cup campaign, which ruined his hopes of sealing a move away from Bavaria this summer. But, Lewandowski is adamant that he is ready to help Bayern this season as they look to win the elusive Champions League title.
Bayern 5-0 Drochtersen/Assel
Niko Kovac led Bayern Munich are strong favourites to traumatize this highly inexperienced Drochtersen defence. As a result, we can expect 5-0 drubbing this weekend, though in football, we never know.