Bayern Munich Favourites at Wembley
Finally, the much awaited day is just over the horizon.
The Uefa Champions League final on Sarturday 25 May will not only be remembered for pitting two German teams for the first time in history of the competition, it will also be noted as a much-awaited final capable of surprises and upsets.
Very few would disagree with the fact BvB -- as Borrussia Dortmund is fondly known -- will go into the match labelled as underdogs. With BvB hammering Réal Madrid, 4-1, in Germany and Bayern completing a record 7-0 aggregate mauling of the much fancied Barcelona, this pairing presents the fans with a opportunity to witness one of the greatest Uefa Champions League finals in the history of the sport.
Bayern Munich, of course, are extreme favourites to lift the prestigious trophy, chiefly driven by their need to avenge their 2012 Uefa Champions League loss to Chelsea on penalties. Jupp Heynckes' squad is one of the most talented sides in the world. The individuals seem to blend in harmony. The highly potent Robben-Ribéry partnership is expected to do much damage to Jurgen Klopp's cup ambitions. Barcelona can tell you that. Never Subotic and partner Matt Hummels are loaded with the seemingly impossible task of muffling the attack of Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Müller.
It is not possible to forget that BvB almost threw away their seemingly healthy aggregate through two quick goals in the closing moments of the game against Réal Madrid. Meanwhile, the machine that is Bayern Munich only lost twice in the Bundesliga all season, and much is expected of them, as always. The derisively termed FC Hollywood are not expected to be drunk from their successes in wrapping up the title but will look to provide the outgoing manager Heynckes with something to smile about. Forget the champagne they guzzled; they are pretty sober.
The Bayern defence is also something that will bring a frown to BvB's talismanic Lewandowski, who notched four goals against Réal Madrid. Dante and Phillip Lahm are expected to perform a major role in covering the reliable Neuer, who is considered by many to be the best goalkeeper in the world. With Mario Götze ruled out of the tie due to an injury, pressure will be upon Reus to carry the midfield.
Germany has come to London in full force, and one of its teams will emulate the feat of their fellow Germans Wolfsburg women's team, which beat Lyons and lifted the women's Uefa Champions League at Stamford Bridge.
There are no secrets between these two sides. Borrusia Dortmund will look to upset hot favourites Bayern again after thrashing them, 5-2, in the German Cup final. Runners-up in the Bundesliga, BvB are set to prove that the 25-point lead of Bayern does not represent the true disparity between these two clubs.
Despite these two teams being equally capable of lifting the trophy, Bayern still has the edge. The Bavarians are seeking to put a cork to their record of losing their last four Champions League finals. Given their superhuman season to date, it's no wonder they expect to finally get the job done.
Players to watch:
|Borussia Dortmund||Bayern Munich|
|Robert Lewandowski||Frank Ribéry|
|Marco Reus||Thomas Müller|
|Ilkay Gündoğan||Arjen Robben|