Uncharted territory

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Bayern will be entering uncharted territory on Saturday. The record champions kick off their DFB Cup campaign against SV Drochtersen/Assel, a side they’ve never played competitively. However, the Lower Saxony regional league side are not a complete unknown having qualified for the competition two years ago, when they exited at the first-round stage with a creditable 1-0 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach. fcbayern.com has picked out all the other important facts and figures on Saturday’s first-round tie.

Rafinha on verge of new record

Bayern right-back Rafinha boasts an impressive record in the DFB Cup. The Brazilian didn’t feature in May’s final against Eintracht Frankfurt and thus remained unbeaten in his last 29 cup appearances for FCB and Schalke. Only Norbert Nachtweih, who played for Frankfurt and Bayern in the 80s, has gone so long without defeat in the competition. Should Rafinha play against the fourth-tier side and Bayern win, he will set a new record in the DFB Cup. The last time he experienced defeat in the competition was in March 2009 when Schalke lost 1-0 at Mainz.

Formidable away record

Playing away from home has not been a problem for Bayern in the DFB Cup. The Reds are unbeaten in their last 26 away matches in the competition – a record – and they only needed penalties on three of those occasions. They have also scored 86 goals in those 26 games, conceding just 12. Their last away defeat in the cup was back in March 2009, when Jürgen Klinsmann’s side were beaten 4-2 in the quarter-finals by Bayer Leverkusen.

Routine progression for Bayern

It’s 24 years since last season’s runners-up were last knocked out at this stage of the competition. Bayern and then coach Giovanni Trapattoni suffered a somewhat embarrassing 1-0 defeat at TSV Vestenbergsgreuth on 14 August 1994, but the Reds have since avoided any first-round upsets.

Kovac’s cup pedigree

Bayern know all too well that Niko Kovac is a cup expert – he led Franfkfurt to their 3-1 victory over FCB in May’s final. The 46-year-old also reached the final the previous year in his debut season as a coach in the competition, with Eintracht narrowly losing 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund. That was Kovac’s only defeat in the 12 DFB Cup ties he has taken charge of. There’s a long season ahead but this record will give the 18-time winners hope that they will once again be in the final at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin in May 2019.

New opponents, new referee

Thorben Siewers is the man in the middle for Bayern’s first DFB Cup match of the new season. It’s the first game involving the Reds for the 31-year-old from Olpe, who has been refereeing in Bundesliga 2 since 2015. Siewers will be assisted at the Kehdinger Stadion by Mitja Stegemann and Fabian Maibaum, while Jan Neitzel-Petersen is the fourth official.

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