The final games of 2020 will be Round 2 of the DFB-POKAL. This is the countries most prestigious cup competition & the only one that is open to every men’s side at any level. We are down to 32 teams & 14 of the 16 fixtures will be played this week. Bayer Leverkusen’s tie with Eintracht Frankfurt has also been postponed to 12th January 2021.
We have some interesting fixtures. Fourth tier side SV Elversberg welcome Champions League last 16 side Borussia Mönchengladbach. Another fourth tier side SSV Ulm 1846 have the opportunity to inflict more humiliation on FC Schalke 04.
Former giants & 2001-02 Bundesliga champions Hannover 96 play Werder Bremen. On January 13th 2021 2.Bundesliga leaders Holstein Kiel play Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
FC SCHALKE 04 SACK MICHAEL BAUM
ℹ️ Huub Stevens will take charge as interim #S04 head coach for the last Bundesliga game of the year against @arminia_int as well as the second-round DFB-Pokal game against @ssvulm1846fb. Mike Büskens has been brought in as his assistant coach. pic.twitter.com/AKn1FGoRt5— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) December 18, 2020
Sporting director Jochen Schneider said “The disappointing performance against SC Freiburg showed us that the team needs a new impulse”. Michael Baum’s record is 4 draws & 6 losses which is decent when you look at their opponents. Five of those defeats were against, Gladbach, Leverkusen, VFL Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund & RB Leipzig.
Schalke are a massive club, but, surely the board can’t expect to get anything from those games? In Matchday 11 they were moments away from beating 10 men FC Augsburg when Marco Richter equalized in the 93rd minute.
The club is in disarray at all levels & I think Baum’s sacking has something to do with the player fallout a few weeks ago. Nabil Bentaleb was ordered to train separately until further notice & Vedad Ibisevic’s contract will end prematurely on December 31st 2020. Amine Harit was also banished, but, was brought back into the starting eleven for the loss to Freiburg.
I think Schalke have made a big mistake here. They were showing signs of improvement under Baum after he switched them to a back three. The one thing he was missing was a player that can lead the line & score 15 goals a season. Their last natural goalscorer was Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who left back in June 2017. They have serious financial issues, but, a shrewd loan deal for a proven goalscorer could have been all that Baum needed to keep them up.
WHO DO SCHALKE TURN TO?
In the interim they have appointed Huub Stevens to see them through the last two games before the Winter Break. He is an elected member of the supervisory board. This is his fourth time managing the club, with his first stint taking place October 1996 to June 2002 where he won the UEFA Cup. Schneider said the upcoming game against Arminia Bielefeld has “huge significance” for the club. Stevens, with all of his experience couldn’t inspire a victory as they lost 1-0 to their relegation rival.
The plan is for the successor to be appointed over the winter break & be in place when the Bundesliga resumes January 2nd 2021. In the statement released on Schalke’s website it read “The club will provide further information about who could be appointed as Baum’s successor following next week’s DFB-POKAL match”. Friedhelm Funkel, the former Fortuna Düsseldorf coach is being tipped to takeover. He has 31 years of management experience across 11 clubs.
Whoever comes in, their first task will be to get a win by any means necessary. Die Knappen are 29 Bundesliga games without a victory & close to surpassing Tasmania Berlin’s 31 game record. Their next three fixtures are against Hertha Berlin, Hoffenheim & Frankfurt. It’s not looking good & I’m confident my shout for them to go down before the season started at +1100 will cash.
DFB-POKAL ROUND 2 BETTING LINES
ODDS & ENDS
- With a mixture of professional, semi-professional & amateur sides there’s potential for a big win if you back the right upset.
- Back SSV Ulm or the Draw +215.
- Combine FC Köln & Hoffenheim in a Money Line Parlay at +125. You could add Werder Bremen to boost it up to +384.
- A 5 Game Money Line Parlay of Köln, Hoffenheim, Leipzig, Dortmund & Gladbach comes in at +293.
WHERE TO BET THE DFB-POKAL IN THE US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey, Indiana and Pennsylvania.