Just this Friday I was having a chat with my Sunday League coach about about Bayern, Leipzig, and the DFB Pokal.
“It’s gonna be Bayern-Dortmund in the final,” he said. “There aren’t two other teams on their level left in the draw.”
Well that backfired.
Bayern received arguably the hardest DFB Pokal opponent they could have hoped for Sunday night, drawing Dortmund for another early final immediately after defeating the other favorite for a final appearance, RB Leipzig, in a heavily scrutinized and controversial match that saw Bayern come out on top after a penalty shootout.
The match between Bayern and Dortmund will take place on either December 19th or 20th at - luckily for Bayern - the Allianz Arena, where they have traditionally been very good. Additionally, by the time this game rolls around, Thomas Müller should be back in the squad, ready to captain the team once again.
Juan Bernat, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since late July, has just recently returned to team practice and will provide much needed depth at left-back. Though not a crucial part of the first team, he’s someone who can comfortably spell David Alaba every once in a while and should be able to give Alaba an afternoon or two off between now and then.
As for the opponent: Dortmund have hit a bit of a rough patch recently, having only picked up a measly point from their last three Bundesliga games. Still, like Leipzig, they look to be a real threat to Bayern’s title ambitions, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t get back on track in the near future. Outside of Marco Reus, they only really have Lukas Piszczek on the shelf long term, though he could be back in time for the mid-December clash.
The Other Draws:
Bayern München - Borussia Dortmund
Bor. Mönchengladbach - Bayer Leverkusen
FSV Mainz 05 - VfB Stuttgart
1. FC Nürnberg - VfL Wolfsburg
1. FC Heidenheim - Eintracht Frankfurt
Werder Bremen - SC Freiburg
SC Paderborn 07 - FC Ingolstadt 04
FC Schalke 04 - 1. FC Köln