Saturday, May 25, 2013

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich LIVE 25 MAY 2013 FINAL UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich
Football : Champions League Final
Venue: Wembley Stadium - London
Saturday 25th May – Kickoff time: 20:45 GMT+1

Borussia Dortmund

Thanks to a superb European campaign Borussia Dortmund is now just one step away from repeating their 1997 triumph in their only previous UCL final appearance.

Road to the final
Jurgen Klopp’s squad were drawn against some tough opponents in the group stages, but cruised through the group of death without losing a game which gave them a lot of confidence.

Things only got tougher in the quarter-finals for Borussia where they miraculously eliminated Malaga thanks to two added time goals before knocking out Real Madrid in the semis after a superb first leg performance from Lewandowski.

Season stats
Borussia Dortmund were no match to Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga where the Bavarians built up a 25 points gap to reclaim the title from Borussia.

Despite the big difference, Klopp’s men managed to avoid defeat in the domestic double against champions Bayern, but succumbed to a 1-0 defeat in the German Cup (DFB Pokal).

As I mentioned before, they’ve done great in the UEFA Champions League, Borussia have only lost one of their 12 games played in the competition so far, the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid.

Team news
The most important absence will be Mario Gotze’s who has been ruled out with a thigh injury, but I’d say it’s for the best since he already signed with Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich will be seeking to make up for last year’s disappointment when they’ve played the UCL final in front of their own crowd, but Chelsea ended up ruining their night.

Road to the final
Bayern Munich had an easier route to the knockout stages topping a group consisting of Valencia, Bate Borisov and Lille.

Their only scare during this European campaign came in the round of 16 when Arsenal managed to overcome a two goal deficit, but the Germans ended up qualifying through away goals.

After that tie Bayern Munich changed gears and managed to trash European giants Juventus (QF) and Barcelona (SF) scoring 11 goals in the process and conceding none.

Season stats
There’s a lot to say about Bayern Munich’s superb season which could end with the Bavarians winning all competitions they were involved in. They could be the seventh team to win the treble and the first German side to do it.

Jupp Heynckes' men broke a whole bunch of record in Bundesliga like the earliest and fastest title triumph, most total points (91), most wins in a season (29), most clean sheets (21), longest winning streak (14) or biggest lead over the team in second (25).

They have also qualified to the German Cup final where they’ll meet VFB Stuttgart one first of June after previously knocking out Borussia Dortmund in the quarter finals.

Team news
Bayern Munich will be without Toni Kroos and Holger Badstuber - the former ruled out for the rest of the season, the latter announced to be out of action for the next ten months – but both have been out for some time, so Heynckes will probably field the eleven that hammered Barcelona in the semis.

The Betting Verdict

As I mentioned before both sides had some short moments of weakness during this campaign (Borussia vs Real Madrid in the second leg and Bayern vs Arsenal also in the second leg), but overall I think everyone agrees that the best two teams of the competition reached the final.

The two Bundesliga giants have outrun, outplayed and ultimately outclassed all the opponents they’ve met on the road to the final, so it’s no surprise that we have an all German final at the Wembley stadium on Saturday night.

I’d say that Bayern Munich holds the upper hand before this clash, it’s difficult to find a weakness in their squad after witnessing the power statements from the previous rounds when they’ve hammered Juventus and Barcelona.

The Bavarians also hold the psychological advantage of having won the Bundesliga with such a difference and signing one of Borussia’s key players, Mario Gotze.

I never thought we’ll see a better team than Barcelona at their best, but this Bayern Munich squad seems like Barcelona with a facelift, almost the same technical ability, but much stronger physically.

The odds are quite short considering the fact that this is a Champions League final, but I really can’t see past a Bayern Munich success, so I’ll back Bayern to win in 90 minutes.
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