DFB Pokal Cup Final PreviewPosted: May 11, 2012
On the 12th of May the two of the Bundesliga Supremes, Champions League finalists Bayern Munich and reigning league champions Borussia Dortmund will lock horns in the Olympic Stadion in Berlin and fight it out for the domestic cup. The game is tantalisingly poised and has the makings to be a classic. Both teams going in to the game are in rich veins of form and both ended their league campaigns on a high, but Dortmund however were comfortable winners in the end holding off Bayern at a gap of eight points.
Coming in to this one, Dortmund are on a 25 game domestic unbeaten streak and have been ruthless in their league run-in which has seen them finish as champions. Bayern on the other hand will be out for some revenge over their Nord-West Rhineland rivals after they were beaten by them both home and away in the league. Something that is not to be forgotten also is the fact that Bayern will face Chelsea in the Champions League final seven days after the cup final, a competition that Bayern will hold in higher regard surely, not least to mention that the the European final will be held in their own back yard this year.
For Dortmund on the other hand, this is their last game before heading off on their summer holidays, and a chance to wrap up the double and to take the Pokal cup crown from their local bitter rivals Schalke is a mouth-watering possibility.
Some of Bayern’s key men such as defender Badstuber and Luis Gustavo are set miss the Champions League final on the 19th against Chelsea through suspension. Surely this means that Jupp Heynckes’ team selection will be made easier as he will not be able to call upon them next week regardless of their freshness and fatigue. For BVB, the big question mark remains over the role that teenage sensation Mario Gotze will play. Gotze spent most of the post-Christmas season on the injury table with an ankle injury but since then has resumed full training and has made a few cameo appearances from the bench in some of Dortmund’s latter games. Unfortunately I think for Gotze that this game is too much, too soon and he will have to settle for a starting position on the bench as his midfield competition has set the Bundesliga alight with Gundogan, Kagawa, Bender and skipper Sebastien Kehl forming a formidable force.
Both league encounters were very tight affairs which both ended with a 1-0 score-line in favour of Dortmund which makes this one even harder to call. Mario Gomez has continued his ruthless form right through to the end of the season and if he performs tomorrow, the Dortmund centre-halves, Subotic and Hummels, could be in for a torrid evening as the big man will always be a constant threat. The same however can be said for Robert Lewandowski of Dortmund. The young Pole has been in no shy goal scoring form himself, and even bagged the winner when the two sides met in the league last month.
This one is an extremely difficult one to call. Both sides have their own respective incentives to spur them on to success and both sides are right on the tip top of their games. I think on the day it will come down to a moment of magic or dodgy refereeing decision that will determine this one. However, I’m going to put my neck on the block and call this one as a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and then Bayern to win on penalties, due to their Bernabeu ordeal which will perhaps hand them a physiological advantage. Also, I just can’t see Bayern losing to the same opponent three times in a single season, it’s just not in their characteristic.