Bayern Munich will travel to Osnabruck this midweek as they face SV Rodinghausen in the second round of the 2018/19 DFB Pokal.
After a dismal start to the season, Bayern Munich have made full use of the international break earlier this month to rekindle their form as they are currently on a three-game winnings streak in all competitions. Indeed, the Bavarians have looked much better in the past few matches and are coming on the back of a narrow 2-1 win over 1.FSV Mainz.
Therefore, they will be full of confidence as they face SV Rodinghausen at the Bremer Brucke Stadion in Osnabruck in their DFB Cup fixture on Tuesday. The German champions defeated Drochtersen/Assel in the first round, thanks to a late strike from Robert Lewandowski. But, Niko Kovac’s men will look to avoid the privilege of scoring a late winner this time around.
SV Rodinghausen, on the other hand, is an unfamiliar name in German football even to the most hardcore Bundesliga fans in the world. They are a fourth-tier club, who play in the Regionalliga-West – the same league where Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach’s reserve teams participate in.
That being said, the club from the Nord Rhine-Westphalia pulled off quite an upset to book a meeting with Bayern Munich in the second round of the DFB Pokal this season. Indeed, they secured a narrow 3-2 win over 2.Bundesliga giants Dynamo Dresden as Maximilian Hippe’s last-minute winner in the extra time turned out to be the main difference between the two sides.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over both the sides ahead of their crucial cup tie this midweek.
Team news & tactics
Hippe was ideally the hero for Rodinghausen in their last round game against Dresden but the centre-half has been ruled out with a long-term injury along with fellow defender Kevin Harder and midfielder Tobias Steffen.
Therefore, Rodinghausen’s 34-year-old coach Enrico Maassen could be forced to make alterations, particularly in defence. Club captain Daniel Flottmann will partner Julian Wolf in central defence while Azur Velagic and Dennis Engel will be deployed as fullbacks. Wolf has already netted three goals this season and it will be interesting to see if he can make a difference against the mighty Bayern this midweek.
Fabian Kunze and Franz Pfanne will start at the base of Rudinghausen’s 4-4-2 with Kunze, in particular, expected to play a key role as the holding midfielder. Linus Meyer and Bjorn Schlottke will occupy the wide midfield roles with the latter scoring a couple of goals in the league this season.
Rodinghausen’s attack will be led by a dynamic duo of Kelvin Lunga and Simon Engelmann, both of whom are expected spend most of the time pressing in their own half. Engelmann is the obvious danger man, however, having scored seven goals in the league this season while Lunga, a former member of the Koln reserves, is also a threat.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Heimann; Velagic, Flottmann, Wolf, Engel; Meyer, Kunze, Pfanne, Schlottke; Engelmann, Lunga
Bayern could potentially miss out on the services of upto eight players this week with Arjen Robben, Kingsley Coman, James Rodriguez, Sven Ulreich and Corentin Tolisso already ruled out.
Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are also doubtful and are unlikely to be risked by Kovac while Leon Goretzka could miss out as well after suffering a knock in the win over Mainz.
Therefore, coach Niko Kovac could ring in the changes on Tuesday. Key players Joshua Kimmich and Robert Lewandowski. As a result, Rafinha could come into the side as the right-back while Sandro Wagner will replace Lewandowski.
In addition, Javi Martinez could be shifted into the centre-back role with both Hummels and Boateng unlikely to play this week. This will allow Bayern to deploy a 4-1-4-1 formation with Thiago Alcantara playing as the defensive playmaker while Martinez partners Niklas Sule in central defence. David Alaba will be slotted in as the left-back.
Thomas Muller will retain his place in the team, featuring as the central midfielder alongside Renato Sanches, who made quite a spark after coming on as a substitute against Mainz.
Franck Ribery, on the other hand, will be deployed on the left wing with Serge Gnabry occupying the opposite flank. And finally, the attack will be led by Wagner, who will be keen to extend his scoring tally after an underwhelming start to the season.
Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Neuer; Rafinha, Martinez, Sule, Alaba; Alcantara; Gnabry, Muller, Sanches, Ribery; Wagner
- Bayern defender Rafinha has yet to end a DFB Cup game on the losing side, having made 30 successful appearances in the competition.
- Bayern have won their last 27 DFB Cup games away from home, last losing to Bayer Leverkusen in a game which was played in Düsseldorf in March 2009.
- Rodinghausen is a town of 10,000 inhabitants, while their stadium holds just 3,000 – which is why the fixture has been moved 30km away to Osnabruck’s 16,700-capacity Stadion an der Bremer Brucke.
- Thomas Muller and Lewandowski each have 27 goals in the DFB Cup and can move into the competition’s all-time top ten leading scorers with another goal.
- Bayern have visited this stadium twice before: beating VfL Osnabruck there 3-2 in 2004/05 and 2-0 in 2001/02, both in the second round of the DFB Cup.
Player to watch
It will be interesting to see how Sandro Wagner performs in this game, having served as a mere backup for Robert Lewandowski for the most part of his career with Bayern. The former Hoffenheim striker has featured in only three league games this season, failing to score in any of it.
Put simply, he has been awful so far, missing a host of chances and thus, he will be presented with an ideal opportunity to redeem himself as Bayern face lowly Rodinghausen on Tuesday. A solid performance against the fourth-tier outfit could boost his confidence as well as regain Kovac’s trust in the German forward, making him a player worth keeping an eye on in this game.
Rodinghausen 0-2 Bayern Munich
SV Rodinghausen will certainly seek inspiration from fellow fourth-tier club Drochtersen-Assel’s performance against Bayern in the first round. But, the Bavarians, coming on the back of a three-game winning run are easily expected to sweep aside a Rodinghausen, who lacks the quality of providing any sort of trouble for the German champions.