There is never a good time to play Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, but now is about as good a time as any. That may slightly ease the fears of their DFB-Pokal semifinal opponents Kaiserslautern, who are currently scrapping to get back into the top flight after relegation a couple years ago. Bayern have only won once in their last five matches, and head into Wednesday's clash off consecutive league defeats.
Kaiserslautern are still massive underdogs, of course, but their opponents' recent struggles may give them slight hope that they can do the impossible. If they did manage to win it'd be their first victory over Bayern since 2010, and their first away in Munich in almost two decades. Coincidentally, the last time Kaiserslautern won at Bayern was the same season they edged them to the Bundesliga title by just a couple points. How times have changed ...
For this clash, Bayern are expected to still be without the injured Xherdan Shaqiri, Thiago Alcântara, Holger Badstuber and Tom Starke, though first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is expected to be available after his recent injury scare turned out to be nothing more than that. Kaiserslautern have the long-term injured Steven Zellner and Florian Riedel out, with Marcel Gaus also unavailable after knee surgery.
Bayern Munich injuries and suspensions
Out: Xherdan Shaqiri (thigh), Thiago Alcântara (knee), Holger Badstuber (knee), Tom Starke (elbow). In doubt: None.
Kaiserslautern injuries and suspensions
Out: Steven Zellner (knee), Florian Riedel (shoulder), Marcel Gaus (knee). In doubt: None.
Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer; David Alaba, Dante, Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm; Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Franck Ribéry, Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben; Mario Mandžukić.
Kaiserslautern: Tobias Sippel; Chris Löwe, Marc Torrejón, Willi Orban, Florian Dick; Ruben Yttergård Jenssen, Markus Karl; Simon Zoller, Mohammadou Idrissou, Karim Matmour; Srđan Lakić.
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. local, 2:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
TV: Univision Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), BT Sport 2 (U.K.), Sky Sport 1/HD, ARD Das Erste (Germany)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.), BT Sport 2 (U.K.)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.