Tuesday, November 21, 2017

DFB-Pokal Preview: Bayern start defence in Rehden

SoccerNews in Bundesliga, General Soccer News 31 Jul 2013

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Bayern Munich will start their campaign to retain their DFB-Pokal crown against minnows Schwarz-Weiss Rehden on Monday.

Bayern wrapped up an historic treble with a 3-2 victory over Stuttgart in last season’s final.

Jupp Heynckes was in charge for that success, however former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has since taken the reins, and he will be looking for his side to produce a professional performance against the fourth tier side.

Stuttgart begin their campaign against Dynamo Berlin on Sunday, while Juergen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to avoid a shock against Wilhelmshaven on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller and midfielders Sven Bender, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all expected to miss out, but Klopp’s side will still be expected to come through with little difficulty.

Schalke, who have won the competition on five occasions, face fifth-tier club Nottingen and will undoubtedly be aiming to improve on their run to the third round last season.

Three-time winners Hamburg fell in the first round against Karlsruher last term, and manager Thorsten Fink is keen to avoid the same fate this time around Schott Jena on Sunday.

“Obviously as a Bundesliga side we are the clear pre-match favourites. Still, the same rule applies every year: You must not underestimate any opponent in the DFB-Pokal,” he told the club’s official website.

“My team look solid and focused, so that won’t happen to us. The lads should be totally looking forward to Sunday after the long break and go out there and enjoy it.

“The necessary aggression will automatically come. That way we will live up to our billing as pre-match favourites and progress to round two.”

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