Created on 27-04-2018 at 15:15 PM
Jupp Heynckes showed no signs of a bad mood after the 2-1 defeat against Real Madrid. The FC Bayern head coach was grinning in Friday afternoon's press conference ahead of the match against Eintracht Frankfurt (Live in English from 15.30 CEST on our exclusive fcbayern.com ticker). "We licked our wounds on Thursday, but there was a good atmosphere in the final training session. There are no after-effects from Wednesday," said the 72-year-old.
On Saturday Bayern aim to boost their confidence for the semi-final return leg away to Madrid and "keep up our Bundesliga streak. I want to win tomorrow." However, the task will be anything but easy. Frankfurt currently lie seventh in the league and are DFB Cup finalists. "Their ambition is to claim one of the Europa League spots. They play with very good attitude and good tactics. They always put up a fight," Heynckes praised his opponents.
Chance for youngsters
On the other hand Heynckes is struggling with the personnel situation. Javi Martínez, Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller and James will take a breather to recover from their knocks and be fit for Tuesday. The same goes for David Alaba, who resumed the squad programme on Friay. Jérôme Boateng (muscle injury) will be sidelined for longer but might return towards the end of the season, "depending on how far we get," according to Heynckes. Manuel Neuer, Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman will miss out too.
But that does not knock Heynckes off track. "I'm not worried at all. I fully trust the available players," assured the 2013 treble coach: "We'll compensate for it with team spirit, commitment and passion" – and a few youngsters. Besides Lukas Mai, reserves captain Niklas Dorsch and U-19 forward Meritan Shabani will join the squad, Heynckes announced.
Dress rehearsal for the cup final
It will not be a normal Bundesliga match as "Tuesday will certainly be on my players' minds," said Heynckes frankly. Besides, Bayern encounter their future coach and their DFB Cup final opponents. "It's an unusual constellation," admitted the coach, "but the match won't affect the cup final."
Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac is confident ahead of the match. "We always turned in decent displays in the last few matches against Bayern. Why shouldn't it work on Saturday?" However, the 46-year-old will have to make do without a number of his players too. Kevin-Prince Boateng (thigh problem), Jonathan de Guzmán (muscle strain), Danny Blum (ill), Makoto Hasebe (suspension), Carlos Salcedo and Ante Rebic (both rehab) will not be available.