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Bayern Munich Start Domestic Season with Cup Match in Münster

Bayern looks to take advantage of their final tune-up before the 2014/15 Bundesliga campaign starts.

Lennart Preiss

The domestic season is now officially underway for Bayern Munich, but the recommencement of the DFB-Pokal comes at an time of uncertainty.

Unable to rely on their World Cup representatives for much of the preseason, Bayern have lacked continuity in the early going. After running rampant in the Telekom Cup micro-tournament, their trip to the United States had mixed results, and they were second best in the DFL-Supercup against longtime-rival Borussia Dortmund.

The first round of the DFB-Pokal could be the match to get them back on track. Preußen Münster's resurgence has been impressive for a club of their size, but their standing still limits what they can do against Germany's best.

Bayern want to prove they are ready for the Bundesliga game, and it would not hurt to show the history makers that they, and not Münster, should have been a founding member of the Bundesliga.

The Match (1st Meeting)

Location: Preußenstadion, Münster, Germany

Referee: Guido Winkmann
FC Bayern: 1 W, 0 D, 0 L – 3 YC

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The Squad

This is a type of match that Pep Guardiola would want to give other players a chance. Circumstances do not allow for that this time around.

That makes the return of Arjen Robben critical as ever. The Dutchman has traveled with the team to Münster, and he is a much needed addition to a side that has struggled to score in their new three-back system. Whether he starts on the field or on the bench, the support he will provide in attack will be heart-lifting for Bayern, especially since Franck Ribéry (knee) will not be available for selection

Guardiola announced in his press conference that Bastian Schweinsteiger (knee) will miss the beginning of the season. That means the gaffer will have to continue to rely on Gianluca Gaudino to be a major part of the team sheet. The question becomes whether Philipp Lahm, who came off the bench in the Supercup, will supplant the 17-year-old or whether the teenager will continue to crack the first team.

The new set up in defense has so far given mixed results, and this match will not determine the fate of the new formation. Javi Martínez's absence will give Holger Badstuber his first Cup action since his knee troubles nearly two years ago, and David Alaba will continue to flank his sweeper in defense.

Bayern are expected to win the match, but with the Bundesliga starting next week, they will want to kick themselves into the right gear.

Projected Lineup (3-4-2-1):

Robert Lewandowski

Thomas Müller – Arjen Robben

Juan Bernat – Sebastian Rode – Philipp Lahm – Pierre-Emile Højbjerg

David Alaba – Holger Badstuber – Jerome Boateng

Manuel Neuer

Bench: Pepe Reina, Dante, Sebastian Rode, Giancula Gaudino, Mario Götze, Xherdan Shaqiri, Claudio Pizarro

The Opponent

As one would expect with a 3. Bundesliga side, Preußen Münster does not have a big transfer budget. Their record transfers is €150,000 two times, one brining Mehmet Kara back after he became expendable at Paderborn.

Because of their limited finances, Münster fell all the way to the Oberliga in the mid-2000s. After Kara transferred on a free from Hammer SpVg, he was an integral part that lifted them to the Regionalliga and eventually to the 3. Bundesliga. Münster also provided opportunities to youth team players that were not getting professional contracts, like Philip Heise, Marco Königs, Maximilian Schulz Niehues (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Massimo Ornatelli (Arminia Bielefeld), and Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault (FC St. Pauli).

Münster was just outside of promotion to the 2. Bundesliga last season, but the loss of forwards Matthew Taylor and Dennis Gorte will be tough to swallow. Kara is still kicking around, and Abdenour Amachaibou was a significant addition from Jahn Regensburg considering he scored 11 goals a year ago.

This is not a match that Ralf Loose will be evaluated on, for the more troubling thing for him is the seven goals the team has allowed in four 3. Liga matches. Münster have the potential to score, but their defense will have a tough time holding Germany's best out of the back of the net.

Projected Lineup (4-2-3-1):

Marcel Reichwein

Mehmet Kara – Abdenour Amachaibou – Marcus Poissek

Erik Zenga – Jens Truckenbrod

Fabian Hergesell – Simon Scherder – Dominik Schmidt – Patrick Kirsch

Daniel Masuch

Bench: Maximilian Schulz Niehues, Julian Riedel, Marco Pischorn, Marc Heitmeier, Philip Röhe, Philipp Hoffmann, Rogier Krohne

The Outcome

This is one of those pre-determined results where the meaning for Bayern will not come from the scoreline. Bet365 have given Münster 22/1 odds to win, so Losse will need to have the tactical match of his life in order to outmaneuver Guardiola. Bayern have not conceded a goal on the road in the DFB-Pokal since 2011, but with defensive uncertainty, Münster might be able to sneak a harmless breakthrough.

Projected Score: Preußen Münster (1-5) Bayern Munich

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