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Coach: Death or gladioli

FCB keen to keep all trophy options open

When Bayern faced Werder Bremen on 15 May in the DFB Cup final, it was a showdown between the freshly-crowned champions and the side that had just finished third in the league. Just over five months later, the sides meet again in the second round of this season’s cup competition. However, both clubs have fallen from those spring heights, at least if the standings are to be believed: Bayern are 11th, and Werder not much better off in 8th.

The pressure is therefore on for both teams, as a win at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening could provide the spark for a return to form in the Bundesliga. “It's a match we can’t lose,” said Louis van Gaal, turning to one of his favourite personal idioms: “It's a death or gladioli game.” The losing side’s trophy options immediately reduce by one, whereas the winners continue their pursuit of silverware on three fronts.