Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich, the first ever all-German Champions League final, will take place at Wembley on May 25th. Both teams have thoroughly deserved their place there and have been strong and consistent all tournament. In this year’s final, both clubs are rich in history, rivalry, and both have the chance to make history.
For Bayern, it is a case of righting the wrongs of previous finals and tournaments where they came so close, yet so far. In fact, the last 2 finals they have been in, they finished as runners’ up. In 2010, they were defeated by 2 Diego Milito goals as Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan completed the treble at the Bernabeu. In 2012, they lost on penalties to Chelsea in their own stadium.
This is something which will be in their minds and no doubt they’ll use it as a spring-board to ensure they are fully focused for the game. Bastian Schweinsteiger will no doubt remember last year at the Allianz, as it was his penalty which Petr Cech saved to give Didier Drogba the opportunity the win the Champions League for Chelsea.
These memories will be fresh in the minds of fans and players alike, and they will no doubt want to put it right. If they did lose to Dortmund in the final, they would have come runners’ up in the tournament more than any other team. No doubt, an unwanted title.
Bayern head into the game at Wembley as Bundesliga Champion, and have fought off Barcelona in the semi-finals with ultimate ease, after the 7-0 aggregate win over the Catalan Giants. It was 2 nights to remember for all. The players really turned on the style, and in all fairness, shocked a lot of football fans in doing so.
All players are in top form going into the game, and hopeful, they can continue their great form for a final game, and sign off in style. If Bayern do win the final, they will complete a tremendous treble, in what has been a glorious season for Jupp Heynckes’ men.
Dortmund haven’t won the Champions league since 1997 after a 3-1 victory over Italian Giants Juventus at the Olympiastadion in Munich, a match which included current Aston Villa manager, Paul Lambert. It will surely be their greatest moment to date, but this match will be a brilliant opportunity for this young team to make a real statement in European football.
Whilst they may not be the most prolific team in the tournament, having only scored 23 to Bayern’s 29, they can boast the second most prolific goal scorer in Robert Lewandowski, who has netted 2 less than Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
This will be Dortmund’s second ever European final, and they will relish the chance to rewrite the history books. A real blow for them will be not having Mario Götze available through a knee injury sustained in the second leg of Dortmund’s semi-final clash with Real Madrid.
The young German has had a massive part to play in Dortmund’s European adventure this season and has been a key figure in attack for them. He quite possibly could have been somewhat a controversial figure in the final following the confirmation of his summer move to Bayern from Dortmund. If Götze was fit to play, this would have been his last ever game in a Dortmund shirt.
So, how will this game be won and lost?
Effectiveness of Dortmund’s Counterattack
Dortmund are a team that have quite often defended deeply, so they can try to hit team on the counterattack. Not many teams in Europe are better in this transition than Jurgen Klopp’s side. This tactic depends on the effectiveness of their holding midfielders, Sven Bender and İlkay Gündoğan.
As Dortmund concede space, it leaves them with a fair bit of work to do and some ground to cover. They need to ensure they’re preventing the likes of Thomas Müller from getting into space and finding an opening for a chance, otherwise Dortmund’s back 4 can be exposed and put under a lot of pressure.
Arjen Robben’s Attacking Flair
The Dutchman showed a completely different side to his game in the semi-finals against Barcelona. Not one for being much of a team player or tracking back, this is something which he willingly did throughout both legs whenever Barcelona attacked.
But, it is in the attacking third where Robben can be most crucial. He is able to drive at Marcell Schmelzer, who sometimes dives into challenges a bit too eagerly when facing his attacker. This may be where the majority of Bayern’s chances come from.
Marco Reus vs Bastian Schweinsteiger & Javi Martínez
With Mario Götze injured, the onus is now on Marco Reus to support Robert Lewandowski with his intelligence and touch. In any other game, this wouldn’t be seen as a big problem for the 23-year-old, but he now faces the task of beating Schweinsteiger and Martinez as they look to combat the midfield and be midfield generals.
The duo showed how impressive they are when working together ion the middle of the park when they stopped Xavi and Andres Iniesta from being their influential selves. Reus will no doubt have to be on top of his game to defeat these two.
Dortmund’s Right Flank
The Dortmund right flank is traditionally a strong one, with Polish internationals Lucasz Piszczek and Jakub Blaszczykowski combining smoothly and providing chances for Lewandowski & co. Piszczek’s overlapping has featured rather heavily for Dortmund in the last couple of years. This will be an interesting match up, going up against Franck Ribéry and David Alaba.
Bayern’s Game Changers
If Dortmund’s starting eleven starts strongly, then they will be very tough to beat. But as the game wears on, problems may occur with the players getting tired and fatigue kicking in. If this was to happen, Jupp Heynckes will see this as an advantage to his team, and when you look at his bench, and it has the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Luis Gustavo, and Mario Gomez, players who are proven to be capable of influencing a game. Klopp on the other hand, cannot call on such calibre, so the last 20 minutes may be tough for his side.
Last 3 meetings:
- Dortmund 1-1 Bayern (Bundesliga)
- Bayern 1-0 Dortmund (German Cup)
- Bayern 1-1 Dortmund (Bundesliga)
When looking at these last 3 results, it looks as if there is nothing to choose between the two sides, and the game looks like it could be fairly open with the team’s styles of play. It will be a brilliant final for everyone, and the side who wins will undoubtedly deserve the title “Champions of Europe.”
Written by OneFutbol