Plus a look at other matches from this weekend's Pokal competition. German's DFB gets the season started in an unusual way, with the 1. Bundesliga clubs playing one round of cup competition before the standard league season starts. It actually began today (more on that in a bit), but FC Bayern has star billing, with our match kicking off Monday evening.
We've been following the Javi Martinez transfer saga all week, with his arrival now mostly assured (Uli says he's been given "the green light" to make a deal happen). But it's not 100 percent confirmed yet, and Javi almost certainly won't be ready to step in by Monday. I'd imagine that some of the usual starters will actually be eager to play here, because we haven't had a real competition game in 3 months, but we still probably won't field our true opening day line-up. Here's my best guess:
Ribery - Kroos - Weiser
Tymoschuk - Gustavo
Can - Dante - Boateng - Lahm
Dante has a calf problem earlier this week, but the club's official site says that he's "feeling good," so I have a hunch he may start. Rafinha is also back to running at full strength, but I somehow doubt he's going to get thrown onto the field without even having had a full practice.
Bastian is supposedly OK to go, but I have a feeling we'll hold off on that until the start of the season. As for the rest, it's just guess-work. We'll have a full line-up as soon as it's posted (unfortunately, recently that hasn't been until less than 40 minutes before game time).
This is technically a derby match, as Jahn Regensburg is in Der Freistaat Bayern, less than 130 km away. But we don't appear to have any long-standing rivalry with these guys. They recently fought their way up to the 2. Bundesliga after qualifying for the play-off following last season; in fact, they might even have a closer rivalry with Bayern II, who played in the 3. Bundesliga for a few years before the recent demotion.
They've played only one match so far this season, a 1-0 loss to 1860. Quaazi gave us a run-down and summary here. Despite the loss, they didn't look totally punch-less and have enough to capitalize on mistakes if Bayern completely fails to show up. As far as players, they have a guy named Thomas Kurz who spent time with Bayern's junior side, a striker named Marco Djuricin who has scored a few goals with Austria's U-19 side, and a Frenchman named Romain Dedola who I think we saw last year when he was with Ingolstadt. In fact, there appears to be a lot of interplay between Regensburg and Ingolstadt - they're close to each other geographically, and several players have moved back and forth.
Elsewhere in the Competition
Today, only one 1. Bundesliga club was in action: Augsburg, my pick for "surprise climbers" this year, beat Wihelmshaven to advance. So we're already ahead of last year, when Wolfsburg was my pick for "surprise climbers" and got dumped in their first Pokal match.
The schedule really opens up tomorrow and Sunday, with Dortmund facing Oberneuland, Schalke battling Saarbruecken, and Leverkusen taking on Carl Zeiss Jena. Not a lot of hope for upsets there. If you want my upset special, though, keep an eye on the Turkish-flavored Berliner AK playing 1899 Hoffenheim. Hoffenheim had a HUGE amount of turnover, and might not be on the same page when they play their first competitive match. And, to be honest, Hoffenheim might not be too worried about the Pokal. Their goal is clearly to fight into the top half, and maybe get a Europa spot, this season.
Seriously, though, don't bet on this game, I'm always wrong on these things. Thanks.
- We'll bring you Javi Martinez news if there's anything concrete, but I'm not going to bore everyone with constant "he's almost here" news updates. If it happens, it happens.
- The club has said that they have no intention of selling or trading Gustavo, no matter what happens. So that's good news.
- If you're interested in picking your own "upset special," you can see the whole list of Pokal matches here. An upset special means ONLY a team in the 1. Bundesliga losing this weekend. Kaiserslautern losing to H. Rostock might technically be an "upset" but wouldn't really be a surprise. If you think you can pick a top-flight team that won't get past this round (there's usually at least one), leave your pick in the comment section, and we'll call out anyone who gets it right at the start of the Match Day Thread.
- For anyone who follows our Twitter account: I went ahead and changed my twitter handle from @bayern_offside to @BavarianFBWorks. The new twitter page is here. This does NOT change anything as far as following, you shouldn't need to resubscribe - it will switch automatically. But if you send DMs, make a note of the new handle. Thanks for reading.