Bastian Schweinsteiger believes Bayern Munich are well equipped to win a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble this season as he considers a return to football.

Bayern have picked up where they left off in the Bundesliga since the league restarted following a two-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, winning all four games -including a 1-0 victory over title rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Hansi Flick's side sit 10 points clear of Dortmund at the top of the table, and will face Eintracht Frankfurt for a place in the DFB-Pokal final, while they look to be heading for the Champions League quarter-finals after beating Chelsea 3-0 in a one-sided first leg.

With Bayern holding such a large advantage in the Bundesliga, and holders Liverpool having been knocked out of the Champions League, Schweinsteiger thinks his former club have every chance of completing a treble.

"In a European comparison, it is a super team," Schweinsteiger told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. 

"They can win the Champions League, especially since Liverpool has already [been knocked out].

"In the DFB-Pokal you also have a home game against Frankfurt. Even if the home advantage is no longer so great without a spectator, you know your own pitch better."

Schweinsteiger, a treble-winner with Bayern in 2012-13, retired from football in 2019 after two seasons with the Chicago Fire in MLS.

The 35-year-old revealed he is considering a path into coaching, though for now he is content to analyse matches as a TV pundit.

"If something interesting comes up at some point that I enjoy, I'll think about it," he said. "But when I do something, I want to win and get something done.

"It suits me very well to analyse games, after a long career in which I was constantly asked to have more time for the family."

The DFB-Pokal semi-finals will take place on June 9 and 10, with the final scheduled for July 4.

The new dates were confirmed by the DFB presidential board on Monday, with the competition having been indefinitely suspended last month.

German football is set to return behind closed doors on Saturday following a long shutdown enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Holders Bayern Munich are due to host Eintracht Frankfurt in one semi, with FC Saarbrucken taking on Bayer Leverkusen in the other last-four clash.

The final was initially slated for May 23 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

The DFB-Pokal final has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Scheduled to take place at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on May 23, the game was officially postponed on Friday.

Bayern Munich are due to host Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Saarbrucken are scheduled to take on Bayer Leverkusen in the semi-finals.

In a statement, German Football Association (DFB) president Fritz Keller said: "The DFB-Pokal final, in particular, as the glamorous final and highlight of every season, lives from the unique atmosphere in the stadium and from the flair in Berlin and both are decisively shaped by the fans.

"It is unfortunate that this particular game is also expected to take place without a spectator in the stadium, although of course we must first wait for the general official decisions and requirements."

The DFB said it was still aiming to complete its seasons by June 30.

The Bundesliga is set to resume on May 9 in Germany, which has seen more than 5,700 deaths due to COVID-19.

Bayern Munich's DFB-Pokal semi-final clash with Eintracht Frankfurt has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, as has the last-four fixture between Saarbrucken and Bayer Leverkusen.

Holders Bayern, who defeated RB Leipzig 3-0 in last season's final, were due to host Frankfurt on either April 21 or 22, while Leverkusen were scheduled to visit fourth-tier side Saarbrucken.

However, it was confirmed on Friday that both matches will not take place on the planned dates due to the continued threat of COVID-19.

The Bundesliga has been suspended since March 13 and is on hold until April 30 at the earliest.

There have been 49,344 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 321 people having died.

Fourth-division side Saarbrucken and Bayern Munich were kept apart in Sunday's DFB-Pokal semi-final draw, keeping alive the possibility of an extraordinary final between the minnows and Germany's most successful team.

Saarbrucken, the first team from the fourth tier to ever make the last four, will host Bundesliga high-fliers Bayer Leverkusen on April 21 or 22.

Holders Bayern, meanwhile, face a home tie against Eintracht Frankfurt - the side who beat them 5-1 in the league last November to herald Niko Kovac's sacking as head coach.

Bayern's fortunes have improved significantly since then under Hansi Flick and they remain in contention for three trophies after hitting top spot in the Bundesliga and winning 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League tie against Chelsea.

However, Frankfurt also got the better of Bayern in the 2018 Pokal final, winning 3-1.

Saarbrucken dramatically defeated Fortuna Dusseldorf on penalties in last week's Pokal quarter-finals, goalkeeper Daniel Batz saving five spot-kicks - one in normal time and four in the shootout.

 

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick was satisfied with his team's performance after edging Schalke 1-0 in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals.

Joshua Kimmich's 40th-minute goal proved to be enough as Bayern dominated possession at the Veltins Arena on Tuesday.

Despite the narrow victory, Flick was happy to move into the last four as Bayern remained on track for a second straight DFB-Pokal crown.

"My team played very well and very intelligently. I am satisfied with the way we won this game," he said, via the club's website.

"We played against a Schalke side that played very defensively. Nevertheless, we created chances and did very well overall, during the game we had over 80 per cent possession.

"At the end of the day, it's always important in the cup that you progress. We're in the semi-finals, so I'm very proud of my team. The players are in good spirits, they're in good form.

"We didn't want to change much. We'll start to recover now, the boys will have a day and a half off and then we'll start our preparations for the game against Augsburg."

Kimmich drilled an effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after a corner was cleared into his path before half-time.

The defender acknowledged it was a tough encounter, but felt Bayern deserved their win.

"I don't think it was possible to roll over opponents like the side we faced because Schalke played very deep and narrowed lots of space. It was not always possible to play fast and directly," Kimmich said.

"We tried to, but not everything worked out. We also had two or three dangerous counters against us. All in all, it was still a well-deserved victory.

"I'm happy that I made it 1-0 and that the game ended like that. At that moment you just go for it and hope that it goes in."

Top of the Bundesliga, Bayern host Augsburg on Sunday.

Bayern Munich are into the DFB-Pokal semi-finals for an 11th successive season thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win at Bundesliga rivals Schalke on Tuesday.

David Wagner's Schalke certainly had their moments at the Veltins Arena, especially in the first half, but Bayern were more clinical and their superior quality told in the end to continue the defence of their crown.

Despite having far more of the ball, Bayern were fortunate to survive a few first-half scares as Guido Burgstaller proved particularly dangerous when hitting the crossbar and having a goal chalked off, but the visitors went into the break ahead thanks to Joshua Kimmich's strike.

The home side were significantly less effective going forward in the second half and Bayern should have increased the advantage, but the one-goal lead was enough to secure progression.

Schalke had the better of the thrilling early exchanges, as Alessandro Schopf curled just wide before Burgstaller struck the bar and then also had a goal disallowed for straying marginally offside.

Bayern dominated possession, having 83 per cent of it in the first half, but their first genuine chance actually came via a Schalke defender – Jean-Clair Todibo back-tracking to meet Kimmich's cross and his headed clearance forced Markus Schubert into a wonderful acrobatic stop.

Schubert was helpless from the resulting corner, however, the set-piece cleared as far as Kimmich on the edge of the box and his effort found the bottom-left corner through a crowd of players.

Philippe Coutinho almost extended Bayern's lead just past the hour, his long-range curling effort coming back off the bar a few minutes before Benito Raman shot tamely at Manuel Neuer when one-on-one following a bursting run from Rabbi Matondo.

Former Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka went close to a remarkable goal 18 minutes from time – his overhead-kick from about 16 yards clipping the bar, but Bayern were not made to rue that misfortune.

What does it mean? Bayern unconvincing at the back

Although Bayern managed to hold on to a clean sheet, they were caused genuine problems in the first half against a Schalke team struggling for form – indeed, they had won only once in the regulation 90 minutes since the turn of the year.

Schalke arguably did enough to lead at the break, with Bayern's backline lacking concentration at times. A better team might not have been as wasteful.

All-action Kimmich is everywhere

It is nothing new to anyone accustomed to watching him, but there seems to be nothing Kimmich cannot do. He attempted – and completed – more passes than anyone else, had the most touches, created the joint-most chances (two) and got the winning goal.

Muller offers little

Thomas Muller got the nod ahead of youngster Joshua Zirkzee in the absence of Robert Lewandowski, but the experienced forward was quiet, having just a single shot – which he should have done better with – in the entire game. A hapless short-corner attempt summed up his day, as he failed to even get the pass in play.

What's next?

Bayern host Augsburg as they return to Bundesliga action on Sunday, while Schalke will be hoping to end their miserable form at home to Hoffenheim the day before.

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick is hoping on-field issues are the focus against Schalke on Tuesday - although he conceded further fan protests are a possibility.

Flick's men handed out a 6-0 thrashing to Hoffenheim on Saturday but the result was overshadowed by protests from the Bayern ultras, who held up offensive banners towards the home club's owner Dietmar Hopp.

After the referee took the players off the pitch to wait for the banners' removal following appeals from the Bayern players, the two teams saw out the rest of the match by passing the ball among themselves as a show of solidarity towards Hopp.

Flick, and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, apologised after the match for what they described as "ugly" and shameful protests and the former wants everyone to turn their attention to the DFB-Pokal quarter-final against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.

He told reporters: "We are here because we want to play football.

"The performance [against Hoffenheim] was spoiled by our own fans with actions that I don't approve of and it has to be tackled.

"Everyone has to pull together but I want to concentrate on sport again."

Asked if he thought that would be the end of protests against billionaire owners in the Bundesliga following accusations certain clubs are circumnavigating league rules on ownership, Flick replied: "No, but it's important the club continues to talk about this.

"If something happens we have to speak the same language in our reaction. We have to communicate that internally and there should not be two opinions on how that will look."

 

Bayern's weekend win and RB Leipzig's failure to beat Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday means Flick has transformed a previously underachieving side with the defending champions now sitting three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

And he is hoping for more of the same against a Schalke team beaten 3-0 at Cologne on Saturday.

He added: "The last two games showed the football we can play. That's the benchmark and of course you want to see that all the time as a coach.

"The team are making a big impression, both physically and in the way they play. It all adds up.

"It is obvious that we want to go to Berlin [for the final] in the DFB-Pokal, to be champions in the Bundesliga and to go as far as possible in the Champions League."

Erling Haaland became the fastest player to score 10 goals in Champions League history as the Borussia Dortmund sensation shattered records on Tuesday.

Haaland – making his Champions League bow for Dortmund following a January switch from Salzburg – scored twice in the second half of the team's 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the opening leg of the last-16 tie.

The striker took his tally to 10 goals in just seven Champions League appearances this season with a stunning eight-minute brace, reaching the mark four games quicker than any other player in the competition's history.

At 19 years and 212 days, Haaland is the second youngest player to reach 10 goals in the Champions League, behind PSG star Kylian Mbappe, who did so at the age of 18 years and 360 days.

Haaland, who turned down a January move to Premier League giants Manchester United, has scored 11 goals in his first seven games in all competitions for Dortmund – no other player from a Bundesliga side has ever achieved that feat.

The Norway international also became the first Dortmund player to score on his debut in the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal, as his remarkable season continued.

He scored a hat-trick on his Champions League debut for Salzburg against Genk on September 17, becoming the first teenager to score more than once on his maiden appearance in the competition since Wayne Rooney in 2004, but he was not finished there.

Further goals against Liverpool and Napoli took his tally to seven – a record haul for a teenager in a Champions League campaign – from just four games, swiftly surpassing the previous benchmark of six set by Raul and Mbappe.

Haaland went on to become only the third player, after Alessandro Del Piero and Diego Costa, to score in his first five matches in the competition when he grabbed another goal against Genk on November 27. 

Bayern Munich will travel to Schalke in the quarter-finals of this season's DFB-Pokal.

The holders will head to Gelsenkirchen after they edged out Hoffenheim 4-3 in the previous round.

Eintracht Frankfurt – who beat Bayern in the 2018 final – will host Werder Bremen, while Bayer Leverkusen will meet Union Berlin at BayArena.

Fortuna Dusseldorf, who were 5-2 winners at Cologne in round three, were handed an away match against fourth-tier Saarbrucken.

The games will be played on March 3 and 4.

Hansi Flick felt Bayern Munich received a "wake-up call" during their 4-3 win over Hoffenheim in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday.

After recovering from an early deficit, Bayern were cruising at 4-1 up at the Allianz Arena, only for Moanes Dabour's late brace to lead to a nervous finish.

Flick said the finish was a warning for Bayern, who host RB Leipzig in a top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash on Sunday.

"You can always look at it one way or another," the Bayern coach said.

"I always look at it positively and say that today is a wake-up call. It was almost the same in the second half in Mainz.

"We weren't in the game that much anymore and shifted down a gear. I don't know if that was also the reason today.

"I don't want to diminish Hoffenheim's performance there. They did well in the second half."

Jerome Boateng and Benjamin Hubner scored own goals in the opening 12 minutes, but Robert Lewandowski's brace after a Thomas Muller strike had Bayern cruising.

Joshua Kimmich said Bayern missed a chance to send a message, instead getting a reminder they needed to perform for 90 minutes.

"The team and the coaches talked at half-time. It would have been a signal if we had won 4-1 or 5-1 today. It would have been possible today," he said.

"On the other hand, the game today also shows us that if we don't play at our limit, a game can tip quickly. We have to stay concentrated against every opponent for 90 minutes.

"That's why it's maybe quite good, especially before the Leipzig game, that we realise that it's not going to work by itself.

"We have to bring hard work to the pitch to be successful."

Hasan Salihamidzic insisted Bayern Munich were in no rush to enter contract talks with their stars, preferring to focus on challenging on several fronts.

Bayern moved into the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals by overcoming Hoffenheim 4-3 on Wednesday.

They are top of the Bundesliga and into the last 16 of the Champions League, and that is the focus for the German giants despite the likes of Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Javi Martinez, David Alaba and Thiago Alcantara coming out of contract next year.

"We will certainly have talks, but in the next few weeks we will concentrate on the competitions," Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic told reporters.

"It's important that we are totally focused on the games in the upcoming weeks. That's where the focus lies."

Asked if he was worried about other clubs potentially looking at the stars coming out of contract, Salihamidzic said: "No. Sure, this can happen with top players, but we have had good experience with concentrating on the competitions first and that's what we will do.

"But like I said before, we will have talks, the players know about it and there are no problems."

Bayern are back in action with a top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash at home to RB Leipzig on Sunday.

Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller impressed but Bayern Munich made hard work of beating Hoffenheim 4-3 to reach the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals.

Holders Bayern appeared to be cruising into the last eight when Lewandowski put them 3-1 up at half-time on Wednesday, yet a lacklustre second-half showing gave Hoffenheim – who had taken the lead through Jerome Boateng's own goal – unexpected hope.

Bayern had quickly levelled when Benjamin Hubner put through his own goal before Muller – who had a hand in all three of the hosts' first-half goals – nosed them ahead.

Lewandowski's second made it 4-1 with 10 minutes to go before Munas Dabbur's late double set up the possibility of unlikely comeback that just fell short as Bayern ultimately did enough to book their progress.

Bayern thought they had the lead in the fifth minute, yet Muller had strayed marginally offside before he teed up Lewandowski and, against the run of play, the hosts were behind when Boateng sliced in Ihlas Bebou's strike.

But Hoffenheim's lead was short lived as Hubner, under pressure from Muller, was only able to turn Alphonso Davies' cross into his own net.

The turnaround was complete in the 20th minute, Muller sending a nonchalant side-foot volley beyond Philipp Pentke, who then made outstanding stops to deny Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.

Lewandowski would not be denied again, though, heading into an empty net after Muller forced Pentke into a poor punch.

Pentke did well to prevent Lewandowski doubling his tally five minutes after the break, before Muller squandered a golden chance to get his second.

Steven Zuber had a goal disallowed for the visitors and Bayern extended the lead when Lewandowski headed in Joshua Kimmich's corner with 10 minutes remaining.

Sloppy Bayern defending gifted Dabbur his first as he dinked over Manuel Neuer and the substitute striker tapped home the rebound after Benjamin Pavard sliced Pavel Kaderabek's cross against the left post in the second minute of injury time to add to Bayern's nerves.

The hosts just about saw it out, though, to put their names into the hat for the last eight.

 

What does it mean? Flick on course for silverware but defence a cause for concern

Despite his struggles at Bayern, Niko Kovac did win the domestic double last season and Hansi Flick – who is surely in with a chance of getting the job permanently – will be eager to match his predecessor's achievements.

With Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig having both slipped out on Tuesday, Bayern are certainly the clear favourites to win the competition for what would be a 20th time, though they will have to be much more solid at the back in the next round.

Muller and Lewandowski lead the way

After a difficult season in 2018-19, Muller has been back to his best since Flick took charge and, along with Lewandowski, ultimately ensured Bayern's defensive lapses did not come back to cost the hosts on Wednesday.

Boateng and Pavard almost throw it away

It was a woeful start for Boateng, who made a mess of attempting to clear Bebou's effort and the former Manchester City man was lucky not to net a second own goal in the second half when he deflected a strike just over the bar.

Pavard, meanwhile, made a poor mistake for Hoffenheim's final goal and – along with the rest of the defence – was guilty of overplaying when Dabbur made it 4-2.

What's next?

The Bundesliga's top two face off when Bayern host RB Leipzig on Sunday, while Hoffenheim are in action against Freiburg a day earlier.

Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller impressed but Bayern Munich made hard work of beating Hoffenheim 4-3 to reach the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals.

Holders Bayern appeared to be cruising into the last eight when Lewandowski put them 3-1 up at half-time on Wednesday, yet a lacklustre second-half showing gave Hoffenheim – who had taken the lead through Jerome Boateng’s own goal – unexpected hope.

Bayern had quickly levelled when Benjamin Hubner put through his own goal before Muller – who had a hand in all three of the hosts' first-half goals – nosed them ahead.

Lewandowski's second made it 4-1 with 10 minutes to go before Munas Dabbur's late double set up the possibility of unlikely comeback that just fell short as Bayern ultimately did enough to book their progress.

Bayern thought they had the lead in the fifth minute, yet Muller had strayed marginally offside before he teed up Lewandowski and, against the run of play, the hosts were behind when Boateng sliced in Ihlas Bebou's strike.

But Hoffenheim's lead was short lived as Hubner, under pressure from Muller, was only able to turn Alphonso Davies' cross into his own net.

The turnaround was complete in the 20th minute, Muller sending a nonchalant side-foot volley beyond Philipp Pentke, who then made outstanding stops to deny Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.

Lewandowski would not be denied again, though, heading into an empty net after Muller forced Pentke into a poor punch.

Pentke did well to prevent Lewandowski doubling his tally five minutes after the break, before Muller squandered a golden chance to get his second.

Steven Zuber had a goal disallowed for the visitors and Bayern extended the lead when Lewandowski headed in Joshua Kimmich's corner with 10 minutes remaining.

Sloppy Bayern defending gifted Dabbur his first as he dinked over Manuel Neuer and the substitute striker tapped home the rebound after Benjamin Pavard sliced Pavel Kaderabek's cross against the left post in the second minute of injury time to add to Bayern's nerves.

The hosts just about saw it out, though, to put their names into the hat for the last eight.

Marco Reus will be sidelined for at least four weeks after suffering a muscle injury in Borussia Dortmund's DFB-Pokal loss to Werder Bremen on Tuesday. 

Lucien Favre's side were beaten 3-2 by the Bundesliga strugglers as Reus was forced off in the closing stages of a damaging evening for the visitors. 

Dortmund tweeted on Wednesday to confirm their captain would not be fit to return to training until next month, ruling him out of the Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain on February 18.

"Captain Marco Reus contracted a muscle injury in the DFB-Pokal," the tweet read.

"According to the current status, he will be able to start training again in around four weeks."

That timeframe would rule the attacking midfielder out of the next four top-flight matches, but he could be back in the reckoning for the trip to Paris on March 11.

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