Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have been almost undoubtedly the two best teams in German football over the last 3 seasons. Tonight they will both battle it out at Wembley, for the Champions League title and a place in the UEFA Club World Cup.
Bayern Munich stormed away to the Bungesliga title, beating Dortmund by a whopping 25 points. However, Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp remains confident that his side can win the match – as long as they bring it down to their level.
“It’s not our aim to be compared with Munich in every way,” Klopp said at Friday’s pre-match press conference. “Only when we’re playing each other.
“We’ll probably have to stretch ourselves but it remains our tactical intention to bring them down to our level. Then we can beat them. We’ve always had to do more than Bayern Munich if we’ve wanted to win matches against them. They’ve got their way. We’ve got our way.”
Klopp’s side will be without playmaker Mario Gotze after he sustained a hamstring injury in the second leg of Dortmund ‘s 4-3 aggregate semi final win over Real Madrid. He has been striving to get fit however he aggravated the injury during training and must now miss what would have been his last game for Dortmund before a €37m summer move to Munich.
Speaking of the injury, Klopp said “We saw the pictures. We did hope from time to time, we tried everything. It would have been a surprise if it had worked. For the last three or four weeks, we had expected he would not be playing so we’re not terribly surprised.”
Munich’s coach Jupp Heynckes believes that if his side play their normal football, they will outclass their rivals.
In an interview on Friday he said “We have achieved extraordinary things. I think I can say that. It’s been the best Bundesliga for any team in 50 years of the Bundesliga. Recent weeks in the league, we’ve been playing successful, we have had one draw, won all our other games so we have the aspiration to carry on that way. We’ll be doing that tomorrow and we’ll be doing it next week in our cup final [against Stuttgart].”
Gotze is the major blow for Dortmund, but Klopp has been given a boost as Mat Hummels has recovered from an ankle injury. Turkey international Nuri Sahin could step in for the absent Gotze. Bayern meanwhile have no new injury concerns and Heynckes will have a full squad available to him.
One to watch
Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has been a key player in Bayerns triumphant season and played well in their 7-0 aggregate win over Barcelona. He is able to control the midfield with ease and can be dangerous if given enough space. Dortmund’s defence must keep him at bay if they want any chance of winning.
Robert Lewandowski is the man Dortmund are pinning their hopes on to deliver the goods at Wembley. The Polish international appears certain to depart the club this summer, but already with ten goals in the Champions League this season, he will have his eye on collecting the golden boot and overtaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally of 12 goals in the competition.
The defensive duties to mark the dangerous Lewandowski will rest on the shoulders of Dante, and the Brazilian must be at his best to keep the striker quiet, although it will be tough given Lewandowski ripped Madrid’s defence with his four-goal haul in the semi-final first leg.