Eyes on the prize

All you need to know ahead of VfL Women’s DFB Cup final against Bayern Munich.

The countdown is on: the DFB Cup final between VfL Wolfsburg Women and their Bayern Munich counterparts is edging ever closer, with the She-Wolves currently fine-tuning their preparations for Thursday’s decider (kick-off 16:00 CEST). On Wednesday afternoon, both teams completed their final training sessions ahead of the match at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne.

Bayern eyeing the double

Ralf Kellermann, Wolfsburg’s head of women’s football, spoke of the game being “as good as it gets in German women’s football.” And he was not exaggerating. The final pits the record cup winners against the German champions, with Bayern having secured the league title last weekend.

Bayern are undefeated in the league so far this season, and even beat VfL home and away. Understandably, head coach Alexander Straus’ Bayern side travelled to Cologne full of confidence.

“We’ve set ourselves the objective of doing the double,” said striker Jovana Damnjanovic on Wednesday. “We’ll do everything we can to achieve that. It’s the first time in years that we even have the opportunity to do so.” 

Her coach is expecting “a tough game”, but will not deviate from sending out an attack-minded side with a view to winning the final.

“Be at your best”

The She-Wolves travelled to Cologne well in advance on Tuesday in order to help optimise their preparations. And like Bayern, they have been practising penalties, as assistant coach Sabrina Eckhoff revealed at her pre-match press conference. She replaced Tommy Stroot at the media briefing as he was suffering with a mild cold, but he is expected in Cologne on Thursday.

“It’s a knockout game, so it’s all about your form on the day and being at your best,” said Eckhoff. “We’ve prepared for that and that’s our aim tomorrow.” She was joined on the podium by VfL defender Marina Hegering, who has been sidelined for several weeks with a muscle tear but is now back and raring to go: “I’m ready to play tomorrow.”

The RheinEnergieStadion will provide a suitable stage for the occasion, with all 44,000 tickets sold for the match.