Bayern Munich will be looking to maintain their extraordinary run under Hansi Flick when they host TSG Hoffenheim in the Third Round of the DFB Pokal tomorrow.
It seems like Bayern Munich have returned to their old form following the departure of Niko Kovac. The German giants have fared extremely well under head coach Hansi Flick, who will be in charge of the club until the end of the season.
Bayern are currently on a seven game-winning run in all competitions, during which they have scored 26 goals. Their most recent victory came against FSV Mainz on the weekend, when they secured a comfortable 3-1 victory.
However, the Bavarians haven’t fared well in the DFB Pokal, especially in the previous round when they had to come from behind to secure a 2-1 victory. Nevertheless, under Flick, they will be hoping for an improved performance this time out.
That being said, Hoffenheim have enjoyed an impressive surge in form, in recent weeks. They have secured back to back wins in the Bundesliga, against Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen respectively. Hence, they will be confident of their chances against Bayern Munich.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of their match-up in the DFB Cup on Wednesday.
Tactics & Team News
Flick will have one eye on the important Bundesliga encounter against RB Leipzig on Sunday. Therefore, we expect the Bayern Munich coach to rest some of his key players tomorrow.
Serge Gnabry is poised to make his first start of the year, replacing Thomas Muller at right-wing. On the opposite flank, Ivan Perisic has been ruled out due to an injury, thus paving the way for Philippe Coutinho to start, especially with Kingsley Coman also out injured.
Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka could continue in central midfield, though there might be one change with Thiago Alcantara making way. The Spaniard is expected to receive a breather, having starred for Bayern in recent weeks. He is set to be replaced by Corentin Tolisso.
Moving in defence, new signing Alvaro Odriozola is in line to make his first appearance for his new club. The Spaniard could feature at right-back, allowing Benjamin Pavard to shift to central defence, alongside David Alaba.
The left-back slot, meanwhile, should once again be occupied by Alphonso Davies while Manuel Neuer could also continue in goal, ahead of Sven Ulreich.
Probable Lineup (4-1-2-3): Neuer; Odriozola, Pavard, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich; Goretzka, Tolisso; Gnabry, Lewandowski, Coutinho
Hoffenheim’s star man Sargis Adamyan, who scored two goals against Bayern earlier this season, is a doubt heading into this clash after suffering a knock versus Bayer Leverkusen. He could potentially be replaced by new signing Jacob Bruun Larsen, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund in January.
Along with Adamyan, Hoffenheim are destined to miss out on the services of Ishak Belfodil, Dennis Geiger as well as first-choice ‘keeper Oliver Baumann. Philipp Pentke has done well in goal and should start ahead of Michael Esser while Stefan Posch, Kevin Akpoguma and Benjamin Hubner are set to form the three-man backline.
Elsewhere, Pavel Kaderabek could be handed a more defensive role. His athleticism and aggression could be key in dealing with Bayern’s strength in the wide department. Indeed, he is likely to feature as a right wing-back with Robert Skov starting on the opposite flank.
The midfield duo of Florian Grillitsch and former Bayern Munich star Sebastian Rudy could be key in dealing with the in-form midfielders that the Bavarians have in long supply.
And finally, the Hoffenheim attack is likely to be led by Andrej Kramaric, with Bruun Larsen and Munas Dabbur operating alongside.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Pentke; Posch, Akpoguma, Hubner; Kaderabek, Rudy, Grillitsch, Skov; Bruun Larsen, Kramaric, Dabbur
- Robert Lewandowski has been the DFB Cup’s top scorer in each of the last three seasons. He’s currently tied with Claudio Pizarro in eighth place in the competition’s all-time scoring chart with 34 goals. One more will move him level with Ronald Worm in seventh.
- Hansi Flick takes charge of his first DFB Cup game with Bayern. He was head coach at Hoffenheim for over five years and oversaw their first-ever match in the competition, leading them to the quarter-finals in their second campaign.
- Holders Bayern didn’t lose a single away game in the DFB Cup last decade. Their three eliminations (excluding finals) all came in semi-finals at the Allianz Arena (against Schalke in 2011 and twice against Borussia Dortmund). Their only loss in their last six ties against Bundesliga clubs was the 2018 final against Eintracht Frankfurt.
- Adamyan scored his first two Bundesliga goals on his first start as Hoffenheim won away at Bayern for the first time in their history at the 12th attempt in October 2019. That result knocked the champions off top spot, which they only regained at the weekend.
- No team has ever won two matches away at Bayern in the same season since the Munich club were promoted to the Bundesliga in 1965.
Player to Watch
Having arrived from Real Madrid in a short-term loan deal, Bayern Munich fans will be excited to see Odriozola making his debut for the club. The Spaniard is set to become a key member for the Bavarians, given their lack of depth in the defensive department.
However, his ability to provide offensive support coupled with his overall athleticism could be challenged by a Hoffenheim side, who are known for their aggression. Put simply, this could be a stern test for Odriozola as he looks to make a mark in German football, just like his Real Madrid teammate Achraf Hakimi.
Bayern Munich 3-0 TSG Hoffenheim
This could be another stroll in the park for Bayern Munich, who have appeared almost invincible in recent weeks. Their attacking firepower and a newfound mentality under Flick could be too much for their opponents. Hence, we expect the Bavarians to seal a comfortable 3-0 win and advance to the next round.