Created on 02-03-2020 at 18:21 PM
FC Bayern face another knockout game on Tuesday as the holders travel to FC Schalke 04 in the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup (live ticker from 20:45 CET). The target is clear: as with the last 10 years, this should just be a stop on the way. “We want to get to the next round against Schalke 04, that’s our aim and that’s what we’re preparing for,” declared Hansi Flick on Monday.
Following the unsavoury incidents at Hoffenheim at the weekend and the abuse of TSG owner Dietmar Hopp from sections of the Bayern fans, Flick wants to “concentrate on football again”. The strong performance from his side on the pitch was overshadowed as the men from Munich won 6-0 to claim their 12th victory in their last 13 competitive games and underline their ambitions in all three competitions. “The team are making a great impression from a physical and footballing point of view. The whole package fits at the moment,” praised Flick, who qualified this by saying there must be “no let-up”.
Bayern thoroughly impressed on the pitch in their 6-0 triumph at Hoffenheim on Saturday, with Philippe Coutinho netting two of the goals.
Schalke are going through a dip in form at present. David Wagner’s side have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions – that was their 3-2 win after extra time against Hertha BSC in the last round of the cup. In the league, there have been three draws and three defeats, including the 5-0 thrashing at the hands of FCB.
On top of that, the Royal Blues are plagued by injury problems. Benjamin Stambouli (rehab after broken foot), Salif Sané (rehab after knee surgery), Daniel Caligiuri (ligament injury), Juan Miranda (calf injury), Omar Mascarell (adductor tear), Suat Serdar (broken toe) and Ozan Kabak (heavy pelvic bruising) are all ruled out of Tuesday’s tie. “When you have to change things around a lot, there’s not as much cohesion,” explained Wagner. “We’re losing concentration at the moment, particularly in our defending from set pieces.”
Bayern have already seen off Schalke twice in the Bundesliga this season, most recently a 5-0 success at the Allianz Arena in late January.
There’s currently a question mark over Jérôme Boateng’s involvement in Gelsenkirchen. The centre-back is nursing a stomach bug, which is why he didn’t get on the bus to the airport with the rest of the squad on Monday. However, Flick is hopeful that the 31-year-old will be available. “If it progresses as the doctor has said, he can join up and will be fully fit.” If not, Javi Martínez, who returned to the squad at Hoffenheim, would be “a candidate” for the starting XI, revealed the Bayern boss.
Meanwhile, Lucas Hernández will definitely miss out. The French World Cup winner has not travelled to Gelsenkirchen because of a slight tendon problem. Kingsley Coman is also not expected to be available again until Sunday’s match against FC Augsburg, while Robert Lewandowski (tibia fracture), Ivan Perišić (ankle fracture) and Niklas Süle (rehab after ACL tear) are long-term absentees.
Javi Martínez completed the final training session on Monday and could return to action at Schalke, according to coach Flick.
What the coaches say
Hansi Flick: “Schalke 04 are a team who have not been as successful in recent games, but a team who are dangerous. They’re playing at home and there’s always a special atmosphere at the stadium. Therefore we need to be on our game from the first whistle and go into the match with concentration.”
David Wagner, FC Schalke 04 coach: “It’s clear who the favourites are. The nice thing about football is that you never know what will happen in the end. Bayern München is always a difficult task, but it’s the cup and we’re at home.”
The VELTINS-Arena has been a happy hunting ground for Bayern in recent years. Not only are the Reds unbeaten in their last nine visits in all competitions, collecting eight wins, but they’ve also gone 433 minutes without even conceding a goal in Gelsenkirchen. The Miners’ last goal against the record DFB Cup winners was scored by Max Meyer on 21 November 2015 in a 3-1 win for FCB.
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