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Cup holders target place in last eight

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Cup holders target place in last eight

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:00 pm


Felix Magath and his team still have one match to negotiate before departing for a much-needed Christmas vacation, but the fixture in question will be no winter walkover as Bayern travel to face promoted Alemannia Aachen in the German Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday evening. In a piquant twist of fate, the game sees the Cup holders travel to the scene of their last defeat in a competition they have won two years in a row.

"We've not forgotten what happened three years ago, but we won't let it come to that this time," Roy Makaay remarked ahead of final training at the Säbener Strasse on Tuesday. The goal-getter was in the side sent out by coach Ottmar Hitzfeld in the quarter-finals on 4 February 2004, only for the Reds to fall 2-1 to Aachen, then a second division outfit. That defeat still rankles in Munich, and the Bavarians are bent on revenge this time out.

<b>Reserves of energy</b>

"Alemannia's Tivoli stadium is a hostile place," Makaay acknowledged, a theme picked up by the head coach. "In terms of the atmosphere, it'll be similar to the first round at St Pauli's Millerntor ground," Magath reasoned. The holders battled to a 2-1 extra-time win against the Hamburg-based third division side.

The coach and his players are expecting another bitter fight in midweek. "It'll be a tough game," Makaay accepted, although the 31-year-old and his team-mates are fired up for their last run-out in 2006. "We've still got the energy for 90 minutes, or 120 if needs be, although we don't want it to get that far," the Dutch ace commented, "we want it over with in normal time, whatever it takes. Getting through is all that matters."

<b>Weary Aachen?</b>

Magath reckoned events in the Bundesliga last weekend could prove an advantage for his men. Bayern took it easy in the last half-hour of a straightforward 4-0 victory over Mainz, but Aachen were forced to scrap until the bitter end in a 3-3 home draw with fellow relegation candidates Hamburg. "And Alemannia are battlers but not much else, so the pre-match situation does favour us."

The coach and his men are determined to book a place in the last eight of the competition. "I'm certain our name will go into the hat for the next round," the boss smiled. The draw is set for 7 January, but Philipp Lahm is already looking further ahead: "We want to retain the double. We've learned to appreciate it over the last two years."

<b>Roy calls for trophy hat-trick</b>

The omens also appear to favour Wednesday's visitors: the Reds have yet to lose in the Cup since Magath took the helm, and are also undefeated in matches featuring Michael Rensing in goal. The 22-year-old stands in for Oliver Kahn at the Tivoli stadium. "We're absolutely determined to become the first team to win the Cup three times in a row," Makaay declared.

<b>Probable line-ups:</b>

<b>Alemannia Aachen:</b> Straub - Pinto, Herzog, Klitzpera, Leiwakabessy - Heidrich, Lehmann - Schlaudraff, Fiel, Dum - Ebbers

<b>Bayern Munich:</b> Rensing - Sagnol, Lucio, Van Buyten, Lahm - Van Bommel, Ottl, Schweinsteiger, Salihamidzic - Makaay, Pizarro
<b>Also in matchday squad:</b> Dreher, Podolski, Lell, Demichelis, Santa Cruz, Karimi, Fürstner

<b>Referee:</b> Herbert Fandel (Kyllburg)
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