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FCB keen to round off old year in style

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FCB keen to round off old year in style

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:50 pm

It is the week running up to Christmas, but the Bayern stars have one further appointment before heading home for the holidays, Tuesday's DFB Cup last sixteen tie away to VfL Bochum (Live in English from 6.45 pm on Web Radio). "We're not relaxing. It's all-out attack through to Tuesday evening," boss Jupp Heynckes declared on Monday prior to the final pre-match training session.

Victory over the side lying ninth in the second division, and the place in the cup quarter-finals which goes with it, would mean Bayern start 2012 with a chance of three trophies, as they lead the Bundesliga and are through to the Champions League first knockout round. "We'll need to draw on all our reserves of energy," urged Heynckes, who has put in his usual meticulous preparations by watching two Bochum matches from start to finish.

The evidence of the 180 minutes' viewing had not caused him sleepless nights, the 66-year-old revealed, but he warned his side to respect the former Bundesliga outfit, and not let the men in blue work up a head of steam in front of their home crowd. "We have to boss the game," he stated. After a dismal start to the campaign, Bochum have made a steady recovery under new coach Andreas Bergmann, taking seven points from their last three league fixtures. That includes a 1-1 home draw with leaders Fortuna Düsseldorf, in which VfL were comfortably the better team against a side still unbeaten at that point.

Heynckes boasts another ace in the shape of Hermann Gerland. The assistant coach was born in Bochum, spent his entire playing career with the Ruhr Valley club, and learned the coaching basics there. When Bochum reached the 1988 DFB Cup final, it was under coach Gerland. "He's closely connected with the club and knows all about their team, the atmosphere, and their hard-working mentality," reported Heynckes, "I've spoken to him at length about the game, of course."

Ribéry eligible, Müller doubtful

Bayern naturally go into the game as favourites, and would be expected to win if they play to their normal form. "I want us to be smart and willing, like we were on Friday against Köln," commented Heynckes, calling for a repeat of the performance which made light of Franck Ribéry's first half sending-off. "We harbour major ambitions. Winning the cup is one of our major targets," the coach said. Mario Gomez is determined to avoid any upsets: "We have to round off the first half of the season in style."

Bayern will be close to full strength for the last match of 2011. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Breno are still absent, and there is a doubt over Thomas Müller (hamstring), the leading scorer in the cup over the last two seasons with nine goals. Ribéry's suspension for Friday's dismissal only applies to the Bundesliga, "and my team will be very motivated," Heynckes promised.

Big win back in December 2009

Quite apart from footballing quality, the record books are firmly in the Bavarians' favour. FCB have emerged victorious from their last five visits to Bochum, most recently in a 5-1 victory back in December 2009, with the goals from Ivica Olic (2), Gomez, Danijel Pranjic and an own goal. The men from Munich are determined not to stumble on the hurdle posed by the second division club. "The players can give themselves one more nice Christmas present," FCB president Uli Hoeneß stated.
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