Bayern Munich are aiming for three wins in three matches as they take on Bremer SV in the first round of the DFB Pokal on Wednesday.
Bayern Munich’s delayed start to the 2021/22 DFB Pokal campaign begins on Wednesday as they lock horns with Bremer SV in the first round. The game will be played at the Weserstadion, home of Werder Bremen, currently competing in the second division of German football.
Much like their more successful neighbours, Bremer SV stem from the city of Bremen. But being a fifth tier outfit, they usually play in the 8,000 capacity Stadion am Panzenburg and are currently fighting for promotion to the Regionalliga, having narrowly missed out back in the 2018/19 campaign.
On Wednesday, though, they will be up against one of the biggest clubs in world football, in what will truly be a David vs Goliath encounter at the iconic Weserstadion. Bremer SV aren’t expecting much from this game for obvious reasons but will be aware of the fact that a famous upset could go down as one of the biggest ones in German footballing history.
Unfortunately for them, Bayern are coming into this game on the back of a sizzling run of form. Their DFL Supercup win over Borussia Dortmund seemed to have lifted their spirits, with the Bavarians recently securing a 3-2 win over 1.FC Koln on the weekend.
It essentially means that the Rekordmeister will have the opportunity to stretch their winning run to three games in all competitions when they face Bremer SV on Wednesday, while they also look to regain the cup from the hands of Dortmund this season.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at the two sides ahead of this first-round DFB Pokal encounter this midweek.
Team News & Tactics
A large chunk of Bremer’s squad consists of part-time footballers with key attacker Lamine Diop notably being a full-time teacher. So it will be interesting to see how they line up against Bayern this midweek.
Head coach Benjamin Eta typically favours a 4-2-3-1 formation, though it won’t be surprising to see the 41-year-old deploying a 4-4-2 given how successful Koln were this weekend, by deploying Anthony Modeste alongside Sebastian Andersson in the second half.
Sebastian Kmiec is an important part of the team. He plays as a left-sided defender usually and is also the assistant of coach Eta. So his leadership will be vital for Bremer’s chances of prevailing in this encounter.
Bremer will mostly adopt an ultra-defensive approach and their main priority will be to frustrate Bayern as much as possible, thus dragging the game until the very end. It gives them an opportunity to nab a late goal, a strategy that has often prevailed for undergods in these kinds of cup competitions.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Seemann; Warm, Nobile, Waki, Kmiec; Muszong, Kaiser; Diop, Arnhold, Kurkiewicz; Garcia
The midweek fixture against fifth division side Bremer SV serves as an ideal opportunity for Julian Nagelsmann to rest some of his key players, with the 34-year-old having one eye on the important Bundesliga encounter against Hertha Berlin on the weekend.
? Final training session ahead of tomorrow's game [fcb] pic.twitter.com/fW189aQ4j3
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 24, 2021
Manuel Neuer is a prime candidate to be benched, after surprising everyone by starting against Koln. Sven Ulreich is in line to replace him between the sticks, while Josip Stanisic should regain his place at right-back.
Omar Richards, meanwhile, is expected to make his competitive debut for Bayern, after signing from Birmingham this summer. He will replace Alphonso Davies at left-back, while young American Chris Richards should give a breather to Dayot Upamecano at centre-back.
Leon Goretzka will receive a breather as well, as confirmed by Nagelsmann. It means Joshua Kimmich might pair up with Corentin Tolisso in the double-pivot, playing a vital role in helping Bayern Munich retain their dominance on the proceedings.
Wholesale changes are expected in the attack as well, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting almost destined to replace Robert Lewandowski in the number nine slot. He will be hoping to make an impression in order to gain the trust of Naglesmann, although the former PSG star will be highly reliant on the services of three creative players behind them.
One of them could be Jamal Musiala, while Leroy Sane and Thomas Muller may just retain their role in the starting lineup, as both the players have struggled to settle into the campaign so far.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Stanisic, Sule, C.Richards, O.Richards; Kimmich, Tolisso; Sane, Muller, Musiala; Choupo-Moting
- Bayern Munich have won the DFB Cup a record 20 times; Bremer are participating for the 10th time.
- Thomas Müller can break into the top 20 for overall DFB Cup appearances, with this being his 59th, if he plays.
- Robert Lewandowski is a goal shy of 40 in the competition, which would take him level in fourth in the all-time DFB Cup scoring charts with Manfred Burgsmüller. The late great Gerd Müller holds the record with 78.
- The furthest Bremer have been in the DFB Cup, is the second round in 1986, when they lost 3-0 to St. Pauli.
- Bayern Munich have come out on top in 22 out of 23 DFB Pokal games against teams from below the top three divisions. The only exception was in November 2000 when they were beaten on penalties by Magdeburg of the fourth tier.
Player to Watch
Jamal Musiala made a lot of headlines this past weekend with his performance against 1.FC Koln. He came on as a second-half substitute of a cagey affair that saw Bayern Munich struggling to create too many scoring opportunities, and instantly made an impact, by notably registering an assist for Robert Lewandowski’s opener.
The German has shown far more intent and quality than Leroy Sane for well over six months now. His performance against Koln has further propelled the discussion of him being given a more prominent role in the side, perhaps ahead of Sane, who joined Bayern Munich for a big-money move last summer.
In this game, Musiala will be hoping to produce yet another impressive performance. A game against the fifth tier outfit should give him the opportunity to dominate the proceedings. It could go a long way in helping him gain a start in the next game against Hertha Berlin.
Bremer SV 0-4 Bayern Munich
It isn’t all too difficult to predict the outcome of this game. The minnows Bremer SV consists of largely amateur players who only play football on a part-time basis. Although they are expected to give their opposition a tough fight, The Hard Tackle expects Bayern Munich to steamroll their way through Bremer this midweek.