Hertha hoping to heap more Berlin misery on Bayern
Hertha Berlin captain Vedad Ibisevic sees Wednesday’s German Cup clash against Bayern Munich as a “mini final” with the hosts hoping to topple the Bavarian giants again.
Ibisevic scored when Hertha shocked Bayern 2-0 in the Bundesliga last September and the last-16 tie at the Olympic Stadium offers a chance to deal last season’s finalists Bayern an early exit.
Ibisevic, 34, is out of contract in June, but the veteran striker has netted 10 goals this season and took heart from seeing Bayern suffer their fourth league defeat of the campaign at Bayer Leverkusen last Saturday.
“This feels like a mini final for us,” said Ibisevic. “You can see that they have lost points this year that they wouldn’t have given away normally.
“Of course, it gives us hope that they could slip up again, so we know what’s possible.”
Bayern hope to have Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer back between the posts, but playing with a plastic cast on his right hand after damaging his thumb in training last week.
Berlin’s Olympic Stadium has been an unhappy hunting ground for Bayern on their most recent visits, losing last May’s German Cup final 3-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt before the defeat by Hertha.
Ibisevic firmly sees his team as the underdogs even though Berlin last lost to Bayern in September 2016.
“We don’t need to talk about being the favourites here, they are an opponent who are one of the top teams in Europe.”
The Hertha-Bayern clash is the tie of the round, while Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund play on Tuesday at home to Werder Bremen.
“If they have a good day, you’re 3-0 down,” said Hertha coach Pal Dardai, who refused to read too much into Bayern’s defeat at Leverkusen.
“Now they have lost once, doesn’t mean they are bad.”
Dardai expects a tight match, but insists penalty practice has not been on the programme in training, saying “we don’t practise those extra anymore”.
German Cup last-16 fixtures
Hamburg v Nuremberg, Heidenheim v Bayer Leverkusen (1730 GMT), Duisburg v Paderborn, Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen (1945)
Kiel v Augsburg, RB Leipzig v Wolfsburg (1730), Schalke v Fortuna Duesseldorf, Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich (1945)
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