Berlin – Philipp Lahm has offered Schalke tips on how to avoid being the next victims of a Bayern Munich pounding in Wednesday’s German Cup quarter-final.
Bayern has reached the cup’s last eight in each of the last 10 years, which no other German club can match.
The Bavarians are bidding to reach the semi-finals for an eighth year-in-a-row, while Schalke has not got this far since the 2010/2011 season when they last won the trophy by hammering Duisburg 5-0 in the final.
Bayern are in goal-scoring form after hammering Hamburg 8-0 in Munich on Saturday in the Bundesliga which came 10 days after its 5-1 demolition of Arsenal in the Champions League.
Schalke are the next team bidding to halt Munich’s goal-machine and are unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions, dating back to its 1-1 league draw with Bayern at the Allianz Arena four weeks ago.
The Royal Blues put in a battling second-half display to take a Bundesliga point on their last visit as Naldo’s stunning free-kick cancelled out Robert Lewandowski’s early goal.
Schalke use a three-man defence, operating alongside two wing backs who can drop back to form a back five.
Having an extra man in defence could pay off against Bayern, according to club captain Lahm, after his team ran riot against Arsenal and Hamburg’s back four.
“That’s how things are at the moment. It looks like it is easier for us against a back four,” said Lahm as a compact defence of five defenders allows Bayern little space to attack.
Playing a back five does however present disadvantages, admitted Lahm.
“An opponent with a four-man defence has more potential to attack, especially on the counter, because they have more midfield players when they have won the ball,” added Lahm.
Germany’s star Thomas Mueller, who was impressive against Hamburg with two assists, agreed with his skipper that Bayern profit against a four-man defence.
“It is easier for the lines of running if we do not have to play against a five-chain every time,” says Mueller.
“You can move into the gaps better without betraying too much to your opponents.”
German Cup quarter-final fixtures
Tuesday (all times GMT) – Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Arminia Bielefeld (17:30), Sportfreunde Lotte vs. Borussia Dortmund (19:45)
Hamburg vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (17:30), Bayern vs. Schalke (19:45)