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Pokal Preview

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Courtesy of loyal reader and commenter, Luke:

In terms of DFB-Pokal 1st round exits, supporters of FC Bayern rarely have much to worry about. Not since calamaties against FV 09 Weinheim in 1990 and TSV Vestenbergsgreuth in 1994 (both clubs have since merged with others) have the Bavarian giants fallen in the 1st round. This year's 1st round opponent, 6th division SpVgg Neckarelz hardly intimidates. The most entertaining thing about them may be that they have a striker on the roster named Sebastian Frey! So, considering the extreme unlikelihood of a competitive match, one's attention may be turned to how first round match results influence overall Pokal success.

And while you might expect extreme punishment to be dished out by the eventual champions, the results have been quite different in two of the last 3 years. Here are the first round results for the eventual Pokal winners in the last 5 competitions, eventual winners in bold.

2008-09: 08 Eintracht Nordhorn 3-9 SV Werder Bremen

2007-08: Wacker Burghausen 1-1 FC Bayern Munich (Bayern wins 4-3 on penalties)

2006-07: BV Cloppenburg 0-1 1. FC Nürnberg

2005-06: MSV 1919 Neuruppin 0-4 FC Bayern Munich

2004-05: TSV Völpke 0-6 FC Bayern Munich

So both Bayern and Der Club demonstrated that a shaky start does not necessarily doom a club to an early Pokal exit. And while with Klose available to play, it may look like Bayern can win the match 20-0 (if you consider the 10-0 beatdown of Stuttgarter Kickers), recent history would tell us that a strong but not overwhelming result is most likely.

Thanks Luke!!