Cup minnows aim 'to do better than Barca, Schalke' against Bayern

Minnows FC Dueren say their aim for Thursday's re-arranged German Cup, first-round clash at Bayern Munich is simply to do better than Barcelona and Schalke by not conceding eight goals or more against the European champions.

With the majority of the Bayern squad returning from international duty, head coach Hansi Flick is set to name essentially a B-team for Thursday's cup match behind closed doors.

A quartet of new signings - defender Bouna Sarr, striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, midfielder Marc Roca and winger Douglas Costa - are set to start against Dueren, who play in the fifth tier of the German league system.

"We want to be better than Schalke and Barcelona," grinned Dueren's club manager Wolfgang Spelthahn.

He was referring to the 8-2 battering Bayern dealt Lionel Messi-led Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals in Lisbon and the 8-0 demolition handed to Schalke on the opening day of the Bundesliga season.

The cup match was postponed in mid-September to allow Bayern extra time to recover from winning the Champions League final on August 23.

However, it starts a tough run of eight games in 23 days for Bayern, including facing Atletico Madrid, Lokomotiv Moscow and Red Bull Salzburg in successive weeks in the Champions League.

First up is Dueren, founded in 2017 following a clubs merger, who have hired a luxury coach - the same model used to transfer Bayern's star-studded squad - for the 600km (372mi) journey from North Rhine-Westphalia.

The minnows have yielded home advantage and opted for the chance to run out at the Allianz Arena, albeit in front of empty terraces due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"If we keep the scores to zero as long as possible and Bayern underestimate us a bit...," said Dueren midfielder Adis Omerbasic optimistically.

The 25-year-old played in the same Schalke youth team as Bayern's Germany winger Leroy Sane.

However, with his team-mates dreaming about one of the biggest upsets in German Cup history, he acknowledged "Bayern take every game seriously".

He scored the winning goal in August's regional Mittelrhein cup final against former Bundesliga club Alemannia Aachen, the day after he signed for Dueren, to qualify for the German Cup.

Dueren's head coach Giuseppe Brunetto appreciates this is the club's "game of our lives", describing the Allianz Arena as a "football temple".

"Of course, we have a plan and want to get off to a good start, but we won't prepare like any normal game and just want to enjoy it," admitted Brunetto.