Three things to watch for as Bayern Munich face Holstein Kiel.
The second round of the DFB-Pokal sees Bayern Munich travel to Northern Germany to face 2 Bundesliga side, Holstein Kiel. Following a 3-2 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach, Die Roten will be looking to get back to winning ways on Wednesday.
With a victory, Bayern would advance to the Round of 16 of the German cup competition to face Darmstadt. Die Roten are favourites in this game, but cup ties are always tricky. Here are three things to watch out for during the cup clash against Holstein Kiel.
Bundesliga’s best offense against 2 Bundelsiga’s best defense
Bayern has scored plenty of goals so far this season in the Bundesliga. They lead the German top flight in goals scored with 46 goals registered in 15 matches. Their opponents on Wednesday have conceded the fewest goals in the second division. With just 14 goals allowed in 15 matches, Holstein Kiel has proven to be a difficult club to score against.
Their strong defensive record has allowed them to be near the top of the table in the 2 Bundesliga as they currently sit in third place. However, they will face their most difficult test so far this season against Bayern as they will be tasked with holding the defending DFB-Pokal champions at bay.
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What lineup will we see from Bayern?
With a weekend fixture upcoming on Sunday against Freiburg, Hansi Flick may decide to rotate the squad against Holstein Kiel. Starting Wednesday, Bayern will play a total of four matches in the span of 11 days. Flick only utilized one substitute against Mönchengladbach so there are plenty of players outside of the regular starting 11 that could feature in this match.
There’s a good chance that players such as Jamal Musiala and Lucas Hernandez will feature in this second-round match. If Bayern is able to establish a commanding lead against their opponents then it should allow for more appearances from their rotational players that are on the bench in this one.
Winning streak on the line
Bayern has not lost a DFB-Pokal match since the 2017/18 final against Eintracht Frankfurt. They will be putting their winning streak of 13 matches in the German domestic cup competition on the line against Holstein Kiel. The second division side will not be a club that Bayern will want to overlook as they are in very good form entering this match.
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Following the loss to Mönchengladbach, Bayern needs to score early and often to avoid allowing Holstein Kiel to stay in the game. While Holstein Kiel has been very good defensive, they are clearly not as strong offensively as they averaging 1.60 goals per match compared to Bayern’s 3.07 goals per match. Bayern should win this match but they can’t take their foot off the gas once they are ahead.