Preview: FC Bayern vs. Kaiserslautern

Christof Koepsel

Bayern Munich turns to cup play after suffering a surprise Bundesliga loss. Despite controlling the ball and creating several good chances, Bayern lost to Leverkusen on Sunday. Now, on short rest, Die Roten must prepare to host Kaiserslautern in ...

The Round of 32 in the 2012-2013 Deutscher Fußball-Bund Pokal. Cup competition always provides a weird break from league and continental play. In a sense, this is a less prestigious competition, so theoretically a loss here isn't as painful as getting dumped out of one of those leagues. But with our recent stumble, it's important to get back on the right page and get a decisive win. And, anyway, we can all remember Dortmund celebrating their Pokal win last year after crushing Bayern, 5-2, in Berlin. So this is a step towards righting that wrong, if nothing else.

The Line-Up

The club's official site gives some concrete information for once: Badstuber is out with a muscle problem. Ribery is doubtful, and Gustavo is apparently suffering from a dead leg (that one was news to me). Gomez and van Buyten are still out. But Javi Martinez is available.

Bayern certainly wants to win, but this is also a chance to let our regulars get some rest. With more depth on our side this year, our "B-plus" team is still pretty damn solid. You want to keep a little continuity, though, so I doubt it will be an entirely new squad from front to back.

Here's my guess:

Pizarro

Shaqiri - Mueller - Robben

Tymoschuk - Martinez

Contento - Dante - Boateng - Rafinha

Neuer

The CB situation is probably the most set - with Badstuber and DvB hurt, there aren't as many choices (though Tymo could play there if he had to). And Contento, finally fit after a long lay-off, is a good bet to play. But other than that, this is mostly guess work. Kroos, Bastian, Mandzukic, Lahm, and Alaba are all left off my line-up, but are available and very well might play.

We'll get you the actual line-up tomorrow afternoon as soon as it's available.

The Opponent

FC Kaiserslautern fought their way up to the 1. Bundesliga at the end of the 2009-2010 season. In their first year back up in the big league, they accorded themselves well, finishing top half and also making the quarterfinals of the Pokal competition. In fact, I think they had a win against Bayern that year (towards the end of the van Gaal era). But last season, they crashed to earth with a clattering thud, winning only 4 matches all season and getting dropping from the top division. With only 24 goals in their 34 matches, Kaiserslautern's offense was the most punchless in the league. But their defense was not hideous, and a win vs. Schalke and a draw vs. BVB showed they certainly weren't an embarrassment.

This year, K'slautern sit in 3rd place in the 2. Bundesliga table. They're undefeated in their 11 league matches, although they've settled for draws more often than manager Franco Foda would like. Just this past weekend, Kaiserslautern almost dropped their first match, falling behind to Koeln before a late goal from ex-Monchengladbach striker Mohamadou Idrissou scored a late goal to earn them a point.

Like us, Kaiserslautern has some injury problems. Their usual captain, Albert Bunjaku, has a torn groin muscle, and will miss out. And Julian Derstroff, the young Zweibrücker, is expected to miss as well. Idrissou is their most threatening forward, but former Schalke man Alexander Baumjohann has touch and vision from his midfield spot. I think Baumjohann spent some time on the Bayern roster, but I won't call him an ex-Bayern man, because I don't think he ever got on the field for us in league play. I'll happily stand corrected if I'm wrong, though.

Final Notes

- The match will kick off at 8:30 PM local time. To see the time in your (current) zone, click on the following widget:

Time zone converter at worldtimebuddy.com

- It appears that none of the Eurosport, ESPN, or Gol! networks are picking up the match.

* * * *

UPDATE

It appears that Univision Deportes is carrying the match live. DirecTV, DISH Latino, Time Warner Cable, and Cox Cable packages all carry it ... but it appears you need one of the highest-end packages to get it.

* * * *

We'll be back as soon as the match is over with a recap and highlights. Thanks for reading.

* * * *

UPDATE

Holy shit - looks like my local is actually carrying it. I'm supposed to work, but maybe I can duck out for a bit.

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