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DFB Cup opener

Bayern primed for Chemnitz cauldron

It doesn’t exactly feel like summer in Munich at present with persistent drizzle and temperatures a paltry 17 degrees Celsius. However, record DFB Cup winners Bayern are prepared for a red-hot battle when they travel to face third-tier Chemnitzer FC in this season’s first round on Saturday (live in English from 15:30 CEST in our Ticker and Web Radio).

“We can expect a classic first round cup tie. All hell will break loose,” said Thomas Müller. New signing Niklas Süle similarly expects a cauldron of noise and colour: “The fans will get right behind Chemnitz,” the defender commented. Süle has experienced the reality of cup giant-killing for himself: “I lost to 1860 Munich at the Allianz Arena with Hoffenheim, so I know it’s never easy against lower league teams. For Chemnitz it’s the game of their lives.”

Alaba and Robben to travel

However, given the first round of the cup always features big-name clubs playing away to minnows, Müller knows what has to be done. “As overwhelming favourites you have to score the first goal, because it’s easier after that. But it’ll be tense for as long as it’s still 0-0.” Franck Ribéry issued an explicit warning against underestimating the third division side. “If you’re not focused and think you’re just going to win 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0, it’s tough,” the France star admonished. “But we’re pros, we play for Bayern and we have to win.”

“Chemnitz have been back in [league] action for three weeks, so it’ll be anything but easy,” agreed David Alaba, who Carlo Ancelotti announced will return to the squad after a short injury lay-off. He will be joined by Arjen Robben, making a first squad appearance since injuring himself while on vacation. However, the Bayern boss said, neither will start. Nor will the Italian take any risks or experiment with his line-up. “It’s an important match. I’ll field my best team.”

Euphoria in Chemnitz

“The match of a lifetime” and ”the ultimate draw” has sent a wave of euphoria sweeping across Chemnitz. “The whole town, all the fans and the players are totally motivated,” said CFC coach Horst Steffen, who will not instruct his men to play an “inappropriate” pressing game. “Instead, we should feel real joy about every challenge we win and every attacking move. If so we could create chances. We want to play a terrific game.”

“The whole place is fired up for the match, because Bayern are the ultimate draw,” observed midfielder Dennis Grote, who has come up against the men from Munich before. The 31-year-old scored a goal in each of two games for VfL Bochum against the Bavarians in the 2007/08 Bundesliga campaign. “I’ve faced Bayern before, but this is still really exceptional. We want to enjoy the game and do the best we can,” said the 2009 U-21 European Champion.

However, Süle & Co will do whatever it takes to surmount the first hurdle on the road to the final in Berlin. “If we play our quality football and put up a fight, we’ll make the next round!” the big defender declared.