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DFB Cup Round 2
Vonovia Ruhrstadion, Bochum
  • 36' Alphonso Davies (OG)
VfL Bochum 1848
1 : 2
(1:0)
FC Bayern Munich
  • 83' Serge Gnabry
  • 89' Thomas Müller
  • 36' Alphonso Davies (OG)
  • 83' Serge Gnabry
  • 89' Thomas Müller
'Have to work hard'

Bayern aim to reach DFB Cup last 16 at Bochum

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The record cup winners face the Bundesliga 2 outfit with a record-breaking run behind them: ahead of FC Bayern's second-round match in the DFB Cup at VfL Bochum on Tuesday evening (kick-off at 3 pm ET live on Sport 1 on terrestrial TV for viewers in Germany), the omens could not be more clearly in favor of the team from Munich. After all, in their last 31 matches on the road in this competition, FCB consistently went through to the next round, establishing an unprecedented run in the process.

Despite their role as favorites, the Reds know they have to be on their guard in Bochum: "The fact is that these teams demand a lot from you, you have to fight a lot and it's not easy either," captain Manuel Neuer warned prior to the game against the supposed underdogs. Head coach Niko Kovač's comment just before leaving for the Ruhr Valley also gave an insight into his thinking: "Cup games are always dangerous."

The situation

In mid-August the Bavarians enjoyed a comfortable 3-1 win over 4th-tier side Energie Cottbus and moved confidently into the second round, which is intended, just like in previous years, to be just a short stopover on the road to the last 16. After a dip in form in the Bundesliga Niko Kovač's players are back on course thanks to two recent wins - one in the Champions League in Piraeus (3-2) followed by three points in the domestic league against Union Berlin (2-1) - and they now fully intend to extend this short winning run in Bochum.

The opponents

In the first round of the cup, VfL Bochum ran out 3-2 winners against tier-five team KSV Baunatal. Man of the match - and the day - was striker Silvère Ganvoula, who scored all three goals. By contrast, Bochum's league performances in the current season have been anything but satisfactory. After earning a mere two points from the first five matches, coach Robin Dutt was replaced by long-time VfL player Thomas Reis at the beginning of September. After eleven matchdays, the Ruhr club have only one victory to show for themselves (3-2 in Heidenheim on Matchday 9) and are stuck at the lower end of the table in sixteenth place. "Bochum are struggling in Bundesliga 2, they have nothing to lose in this match," warned Thomas Müller, who demanded Bayern go into the tie with real purpose, despite the current situation.

The squad

In addition to long-term injury victims Niklas Süle (cruciate ligament rupture), Fiete Arp (scaphoid fracture) as well as Lucas Hernández (ankle surgery), Kovač will probably also have to do without Javi Martínez. Following his thigh problems, Tuesday evening will most likely prove to be a game too soon. "Javi isn't quite ready and we can't yet count on him. It'll more likely be the weekend," explained the 48-year-old. Otherwise, all the players are ready, according to Kovač. To be on the safe side, the coach will also take a few FC Bayern reserve players with him on the trip to Bochum.

What the coaches think

Niko Kovač: "It's always the case that it can become dangerous. But it's up to us. If you adapt to your opponents' speed or rhythm it can get difficult. If you force your own pace, especially against inferior teams, we just have too much quality. Just like before every cup game though, I have to warn against sitting back and thinking it'll be a piece of cake. We'll have to work hard to get through to the next round."

Thomas Reis: "We're really up for the game. If you have the opportunity to play one of the top teams in Europe, everyone has to be on fire. It'll be a game in which we have to defend. As long as there's a minimal chance, we'll believe in it and do everything we can to make it happen. We want to frustrate Bayern for as long as possible and look for our chance as 'David'."

Final Guarantee! FC Bayern and VfL Bochum have met five times in the DFB Cup, and each time the winner of this clash reached the final. The record cup winners beat VfL four times and went on to lift the trophy three times (1982, 1986 and 2016). The 2011/2012 season was the only one in which the final was lost. On the other hand, after their 1968 semi-final victory against Bayern, the team from Bochum lost the subsequent final against 1 FC Köln.