All-German Affair At Wembley

Image courtesy of uefa.com
Frank Ribery has played a key role in Bayern reaching the final. Image courtesy of uefa.com
Bayern Munich  will be hoping to make up for last season’s heartbreak when they face Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund  in the Champions League final at Wembley on Sunday morning (AEST). While Dortmund won the 1997 decider at its only previous appearance in club football’s showpiece event, four time European champions Bayern lost the corresponding match to Chelsea at their home ground twelve months ago to finish as runner-up in the tournament for the second time in three years.

Defender Mats Hummels is expected to be fit for Borussia Dortmund after being substituted with an ankle injury in his sides 2-1 defeat to TSG Hoffenheim on the weekend, a match that playmaker Mario Gotze missed with a hamstring strain. The 20 year-old, who ironically will play for Bayern next season, hasn’t featured since suffering the injury in the second leg of his clubs semi-final against Real Madrid. One man that is certain to lineup and play a key role for his team is striker Robert Lewandowski, who has bagged ten goals in 12 Champions League appearances during the current campaign.

Bayern fielded its strongest possible team for the final league game against Borussia Monchengladbach last Saturday, with the Bundesliga champions wrapping up a highly successful campaign thanks to an entertaining 4-3 win that came on the back of a Franck Ribery brace. Jupp Heynckes men broke all sorts of records during the 2012/13 Bundesliga season including the most points in a season, best goal difference in history and the most comfortable ever League win, having finished 25 clear of second placed Dortmund.

Perhaps the most telling stats for Bayern Munich this season come from looking at their defensive records. They conceded just 18 goals in 34 league matches and have been equally tight in Europe, having kept the opposition scoreless for 364 minutes going into the Wembley showpiece. Both League fixtures between the clubs this season finished 1-1  at the end of 90 minutes but Bayern were 2-1  victors in the German Super Cup last August and 1-0  winners in the DFB Pokal clash three months ago.

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