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'All the ingredients' for a cup cracker

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'All the ingredients' for a cup cracker

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:40 pm

Ball on the spot and right into the back of the net! After training on Tuesday, a few Bayern players stayed on to practice penalties. And with good reason. Two of the last three DFB Cup encounters with Borussia Dortmund have been decided by penalty shootout, as well as the Supercup in August. On Wednesday evening (live on Ticker and Webradio from 20:45 CET), the two clubs meet again in the last 16 of the cup. “It’s a much-anticipated highlight of the season,” commented Jupp Heynckes. Or as Thomas Müller put it: “It’s the fiercest battle in Germany.”

The final match of the year sees two clubs who have accounted for 20 of the last 24 Bundesliga titles. On the eve of the game, Heynckes thought back to some of their meetings in recent years, to “great games with all the ingredients that football has to offer. I think it will be similar tomorrow. It’s another game that generates interest among the whole population.”

Destination Berlin

This is already the third meeting between the two sides this season. Bayern were victorious in both of the previous two in the Supercup and Bundesliga, but that certainly doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed success in the cup. After their bad run, Dortmund have “consolidated again” with two wins in their last two league games. “They’re even more dangerous now,” stressed Heynckes. “They’re coming to the Allianz Arena with big ambitions and we need to take them more than seriously.”

“We know what to expect,” said Müller. The aim is to “not let Dortmund’s strengths come into play and stamp our mark on the game.” Heynckes is “confident that we can summon all our strengths again tomorrow. I can quote Hermann Gerland: the best thing in football after the Champions League final is the cup final in Berlin. That’s a big incentive for us to get to the next round tomorrow.”

Not risking Robben

As well as Manuel Neuer and Thiago, Bayern will also have to do without Arjen Robben again. “He feels pretty good, he’s almost free of pain,” reported Heynckes. The winger returned to full training on Monday but Heynckes does not want to risk him getting injured again on Wednesday. “He said himself it’s too soon. Otherwise everyone else is fit and ready.”

As for Dortmund, their coach Peter Stöger is sweating over the fitness of top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Stöger revealed on Tuesday that he’s “not sure yet” whether the Gabonese striker, who is struggling with a muscular problem, will be available. Nevertheless the Austrian is looking forward to a “real highlight” before the winter break, even though he’s aware “Bayern will want to put in another really strong performance in a game like this to end the year.”
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