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Match Day Thread: FC Bayern vs. Eintracht Braunschweig (Final: Bayern 3-0 B'schweig)

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In the first round of the 2011-2012 DFB Pokal. The match kicks off at 8:30 PM local time, 7:30 GMT, and 2:30 USA Eastern time. Several 1. Bundesliga clubs have already suffered shock losses over the weekend, including Leverkusen, Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg (who I was predicting would be a tough side in my season preview). Hopefully, this will keep our boys from getting complacent … although if they’re as excited as me, they don’t need any extra reason to get up for the match.

Ribery and Robben are both still nursing injuries, as expected.  AFP reports that Ribery “may also be absent for Bayern’s first league fixture,” so I guess we’re right back where we were last year.  Expect Müller to move to the right wing spot, Kroos to start in the CAM / second-striker role, and one of our young bucks to deputize at left wing.  I was hopeful that Usami would get the start, but SB Nation’s preview says that Alaba is more likely to get the nod.  That would leave us with a line-up as follows:

 

 Pokal Rd 1

 

The possible alterations would be Usami in for Alaba at LW; Gustavo in for Tymoschuk at CDM; and van Buyten in for Badstuber at CB.  Even if the above line-up is accurate at the start of the game, any of those swaps could be a likely substitution (although if Bayern gets an early lead, don’t be surprised to see Petersen get some action as well).

Braunschweig’s stadium is of the racetrack-running-around-the-outside-of-it variety, and interestingly also hosts an American-style football team known as the Lions. In Germany, the match will appear free and live on Das Ertse.  ** This part is updated - thanks to Hockey-Cus ** The game will stream on ESPN 3, for those of us in the USA.  If you have a participating internet provider, the ESPN feed will kick off at 2:25 PM Eastern and should have an English-language commentary feed.

Some other notes:

- It’s currently cloudy with a chance of rain in Braunschweig, although a comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  The clouds are expected to clear up a bit by tonight.

- The second legs of the Champions League third qualifying round play out tomorrow and Wednesday, and the draw for the play-off round is Friday.  So by Friday night, we will know who our opponent for the play-off round will be.  The play-off round itself takes place over two weeks later in August.

- Happy 27th birthday, Bastian Schweinsteiger.

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Haltime update: 2-0 to Bayern, with both goals coming on penalty shots.  Muller has looked good, getting into the defense and drawing fouls, although I still like him better in that AM spot.  Alaba hasn't done as much as I'd hoped.  Neuer hasn't had to do much, although he is much better at clearing the ball and launching the attack than anyone we had last year.

Here's the Gomez goal.  Can't find any footage of the other one yet, but I'll upload when I'm able.  Stay tuned.

 

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Three-nil is your final. Solid game from practically everyone. Boateng is a step up from anyone we had at the back last season, Lahm looks sharp, and Muller obviously came ready to play, he created chances and Braunschweig had no answer for him. Not that I think B'schweig played badly, by the way - they were out-gunned but didn't let themselves get run out of the park.

Kroos had a nice one-touch pass on the first Muller penalty drawn, although Toni did drift a bit later in the first half. Overall, though, a good debut and the passing game seems to be in place. Here's a few highlights (all I could find in HD for now, but hopefully I'll be back with more later):