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FCB focused on cup clash in Braunschweig

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FCB focused on cup clash in Braunschweig

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:30 pm

As is so often the way in the first round of the German knockout cup, big guns Wolfsburg, Bremen and Freiburg have fallen by the wayside against lower league opposition. Leverkusen have also suffered the same fate, but Jupp Heynckes, Bayer's former coach, did not follow the upset as it happened. "I only found out about it when someone called," the Bayern boss revealed. Heynckes spent his Saturday afternoon watching a completely different match, namely a recording of Braunschweig's 2-0 away win over Aachen. Bayern's first competitive fixture of the new season sees them travel to face Eintracht on Monday evening, and the men from Munich are determined to avoid a shock first-round exit.

"The results should serve as a warning," Heynckes continued. "We all know anything can happen in the cup. Smaller teams rise above themselves, and any game against Bayern is their biggest match of the season." Eintracht were promoted last term and are currently riding high at the top of the German second division. "Braunschweig have started well. They're riding a wave of euphoria," the FCB boss admonished, "it's a very difficult task."

Heynckes is refusing to leave anything to chance. He has personally studied DVDs of both Braunschweig's league fixtures so far, and has had a handful of their pre-season friendlies watched. "The description 'lesser' opponents doesn't really apply. Braunschweig have made an imposing start to the season. They're disciplined, they're very well organised in defence, and they're capable of good football too."

'We know what to expect'

A 24,000 full house will turn the Eintracht Stadium into a seething cauldron of noise on Monday evening, where Heynckes fully expects the second division club to fight until they drop. "We absolutely cannot afford to underestimate this kind of team, and I really don't believe we will," the Bayern boss insisted. "We all know what to expect. We won't win without a top-class display," said Manuel Neuer.

For all that, Munich are clear-cut favourites to win Monday's tie. "This is Bayern Munich against a second division club, so it's a game we have to win," declared Philipp Lahm. That remains the case despite the loss of Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben to injury. "We have the class to overcome Braunschweig even without a couple of our best players," Heynckes said.

Kroos set to start

Pre-season at Bayern lasted a relatively generous 35 days this summer, and the club has contested a total of eight friendly fixtures. "And I'm very confident. We've prepared very carefully. My team is highly motivated and ready to deliver. There's a very good atmosphere and spirit in the dressing room. We're fired up and delighted we're about to get going at last," the coach said.

One or two questions remain as to the Bayern line-up for the first competitive fixture of the new campaign, especially with both first-choice wingers sidelined. Heynckes declined to reveal much of his tactical thinking, but confirmed that Toni Kroos would be rewarded for "impressive" form in pre-season with a starting berth.

Braunschweig hoping for upset

Opposing boss Torsten Lieberknecht is missing only defender Deniz Dogan and will otherwise field a full-strength side. The 38-year-old Eintracht coach has been closely studying mighty Munich. "We've tried to find a weakness or two in this sensational Bayern squad, and I think we've succeeded," Lieberknecht declared. "In normal circumstances, it's a match we can't win. But since when was the cup normal?"

The first-round defeats for Wolfsburg, Bremen, Freiburg and Leverkusen prove that, but Heynckes said he would not use the misfortune suffered by FCB's Bundesliga rivals as an additional motivational tool for his men. "I don't believe in that at all. We have to be looking at ourselves, we have to concentrate hard and play to our strengths. We want a good start to the season, and that means winning."
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