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DFB-Pokal: Bayern Set to Book Ticket to Semis

Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich have been in unbelievable form of late. As expected, the Bavarians extended their unbeaten run to 13 games with another dominant win at Hoffenheim over the weekend.

And now, the reigning DFB-Pokal holders will look to make it through to the semi-finals of this year’s competition as they take on Schalke.

Despite being away from home, the DFB-Pokal 2020 prediction have Bayern as significant favourites to defeat a Schalke side that’s in the midst of a major slump.

Needless to say, Schalke would need to come up with something truly special to defeat Bayern and make it to the semi-finals.

 

Talking Points

Schalke’s struggles continue

Things are not going quite so swimmingly for David Wagner and Schalke. After a bright start to the season, Schalke have gone on a horrific slump which has seen them pick up just two wins in their last 10 matches. One of those wins was an extra-time victory over Hertha Berlin in the previous round of the DFB-Pokal.

Since that win, though, they have gone winless in their last four, with two draws and two heavy defeats. After getting thrashed 5-0 at home by second-placed RB Leipzig, they were crushed 3-0 by Koln this past weekend.

Once again, the lack of consistent goalscoring has been a major problem for Wagner’s side. Taking away their three goals against Hertha, Schalke have scored just once in their last six matches, which is an unacceptable return.

Can David Wagner guide Schalke 04 to win the DFB-Pokal this season?
David Wagner watching his team during the pre-game warm-up before the match against RB Leipzig

Midfielders Suat Serdar and Armine Harit are the team’s two leading scorers this season with seven and six goals, respectively.

It’s also quite concerning that their defence has failed to hold up, especially against top clubs. Aside from their hammering at the hands of Leipzig, Schalke were also smashed 5-0 at Bayern Munich back in January.

Schalke do have a respectable home record, though. Prior to that loss to Leipzig, they had gone 11 matches without defeat at the Veltins-Arena (six wins, five defeats).

 

Bayern looking unbeatable

Bayern Munich are back to bulldozing right through the Bundesliga. Despite being without star striker Robert Lewandowski, who was given the game off, they still absolutely crushed struggling Hoffenheim 6-0 over the weekend to pick up their 12th win in their last 13 matches.

Serge Gnabry continued his remarkable run of form by scoring another goal, his sixth in the last four games, after just two minutes. Joshua Kimmich and Lewandowski’s replacement, young Joshua Zirkzee, added two more as the game was basically done and dusted after just 15 minutes.

It speaks to Bayern’s amazing depth that they can also call on a world-class talent in Philippe Coutinho, who then scores a brace.

After their impressive performances against Hoffenheim, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Bayern boss Hansi Flick decided to give both Zirkzee and Coutinho another start against Schalke. Leon Goretzka, who scored and hit the post after coming on as a substitute against Hoffenheim, could also get the start against his former club.

It doesn’t seem to matter which players start for Bayern, they will still find a way to score in buckets away from home. Bayern have now scored three or more goals in eight of their last nine away matches, and given Schalke’s recent form, they figure to make some DFB-Pokal 2020 highlights at the Royal Blues’ expense.

 

History

Bayern have already done the double over Schalke this season. They won 3-0 on their visit to the Veltins-Arena back in August as Robert Lewandowski recorded a hat-trick. Lewandowski, who has scored in nine consecutive matches against Schalke, was also on target as he scored the first of five Bayern goals in a comfortable home win in January.

With those two wins, Bayern have now extended their unbeaten run against Schalke to 20 competitive matches. Schalke’s last victory over Bayern came all the way back in 2011 in the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal.

 

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