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HomeBundesligaDavid vs. Goliath: How could FCK possibly pose a threat to Bayer?

David vs. Goliath: How could FCK possibly pose a threat to Bayer?

In the DFB Cup final against champions Leverkusen, second-division Kaiserslautern are the clear underdogs. However, there are at least three reasons why Bayer should be on their guard

If you bet on Bayer 04 to win the DFB Cup on Saturday, you can’t get rich. The odds offered by various bookmakers on a triumph for coach Xabi Alonso’s team are 1.05. The roles are too clearly divided between the top team from Leverkusen and the second division team.

No wonder: there is no single best argument as to why Bayer should really tremble in front of FCK. But there are at least three different reasons why the German champions must be on their guard on Saturday evening against the almost relegated team from the 2nd division:

Tempo

Lauterer speed advantages: Even though Leverkusen’s defense is anything but slow on the move, FCK possesses slight pace advantages with its arrowheads Kenny Prince Redondo (36.17 km/h), Aaron Opoku (36.02), Tymotheus Puchacz (35.65), Richmond Tachie (35.35), Ragnar Ache (35.03) and Jean Zimmer (35.06) purely from the measured maximum values. In addition, the Werkself will have to defend large spaces behind the back line due to their expected high share of possession, where Jonathan Tah (35.81), Odilon Kossounou (34.95), Piero Hincapie (34.36) and Edmond Tabsoba (34.12) are quick but not quite as nimble

Standards

Lauterer standard strength: FCK were the ultimate in offensive standards in the 2nd division: The Funkel eleven scored a total of 27 (!) goals from resting balls – top value in the German lower division. Kaiserslautern are particularly dangerous after corners (14 goals, also top value). Conversely, set-pieces are the weakest point in Leverkusen’s defensive play. Of only 24 goals conceded in the league, ten came from set-pieces. This means that Bayer conceded 42 percent of their goals in this way. The second-highest percentage in the top flight

Head cinema

Leverkusen head cinema: Otherwise, Bayer’s own psyche would be the only thing that could get a bargain should the second division side take an early lead and the Werkself, who were defeated for the first time in the Europa League final against Atalanta Bergamo (0:3) on Wednesday after 51 competitive games without defeat, start to head cinema and Xabi Alonso’s team lose their line.

But even if these three potential dangers exist for the Werks club, the likelihood of these factors coming into play at the Olympiastadion on Saturday is rather low. If Bayer 04 do not allow themselves as many easy mistakes as they did on Wednesday in the 3-0 defeat against Atalanta Bergamo, the question arises as to what extent FCK will have the opportunity to use their fast attacking forces. After all, Leverkusen’s counter-pressing is very good.

And for Lautern to be able to play to their standard strength, Bayer would first have to allow the Palatinate to take free kicks near the penalty area or corner kicks. Only if Leverkusen make generous offers to the second-division club on one of these points could the final become a headache.

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