Saturday, 12 May 2012
German Cup Final - FC Bayern Muenchen vs Borussia Dortmund Preview
While Bayern had an excellent run in the Bundesliga prior to the winter break, Dortmund had an excellent run during the second leg of the season, securing the championship on matchday 33. Dortmund's run in the Champions League was disastrous, while Bayern fought its way into the final, which will be played in the Allianz Arena in Munich. Their victory over Real Madrid was one of the finest soccer matches ever.
Dortmund has defeated Bayern this year in both the home and away matches in the Bundesliga and that would give Dortmund a slight advantage for the Berlin final. Bayern, however, is the more experienced side when it comes to important games, and Berlin will be no different.
Today's game will be fought in the midfield, with counters. Each team will heavily depend on its defence. For Bayern that means that its defence has to be immaculate today. Despite having arguable the best goalie in Europe between the posts, Manuel Neuer is human and beatable.
Based on recent German domestic soccer statistics, Dortmund certainly has the advantage. Bayern's strength in defence and midfield, will make it difficult for Lewandowski, Kagaw and Mario Goetze to penetrate and beat Manuel Neuer.
Jupp Heyncke's, who has most of his players available, will certainly have one eye on the Champions League final, but he won't have the novelty of sparing some of his stars against Dortmund. In order to defeat the Borussen Bayern has to be on its top game performance. That includes immaculate performances by Arjen Robben, Frank Ribery, Mario Gomez, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos, while Bayern's defence must be solid.
Dortmund has a solid defence, which will be difficult to penetrate by the Bayern stars. In Matt Hummels you have a defender, capable of pushing forward and scoring. Kagawa, Lewandowski will create some turmoil in the Bayern box.
It is hard to pick winners or losers in this match. The biggest winners should be the fans, who should see fantastic soccer. As long as the Bayern focus is on the cup final and not next week's Champions League final next weekend, this outing should be a delight for fans in Berlin and those watching the event in 150 countries around the world. It can only add to the rising prestige of the Bundesliga and German soccer.
May the best team win.