Bayern Munich has the luxury of facing Bundesliga foe Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final.
The Reds have already locked up the league title by a wide margin, and though they've tied their previous encounters with their archrivals, they will emerge victorious on Saturday in London's Wembley Stadium.
Fueling the players on the favored squad will be the impending retirement of 68-year-old manager Jupp Heynckes, who will be coaching his final game at the conclusion of this marquee fixture.
Also hurting the cause for the Black Yellows is the absence of prodigious 20-year-old attacking midfielder Mario Gotze, who is out with an injury, per ESPN FC:
Dortmund announce Mario Gotze will miss the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, the club he will join this summer, through injury.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 22, 2013
Heartbreak has to be prominent amongst the Borussia Dortmund fans, as Gotze is leaving the Bundesliga runner-up for Bayern Munich. Let the conspiracy theories ensue as to whether Gotze is actually ailing enough to sit out for such a massive match, but it's a bad sign for the Black Yellows regardless.
The position that Gotze plays is critical not only for his club to run an effective attack but to maintain possession in general. That void is going to be difficult to fill without Gotze.
Marco Reus' success depends on the lethal combination he and Gotze typically form. Absent that, the onus will be on Reus to be the catalyst against the stout opposing defense of the Reds.
In the past four Champions League fixtures, Heynckes' bunch has stonewalled everyone, scoring 11 aggregate goals while maintaining a completely clean sheet. Bayern Munich notched 91 Bundesliga points compared to just 66 for Borussia Dortmund, which shows it is the superior team in terms of consistency, depth and offensive firepower.
The devastating Bavarian wingers, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, shouldn't have much issue on the attack with midfielder Thomas Müller setting them up to thrive. Central midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be facing Dortmund counterpart Ilkay Gündogan frequently, and their duel will loom large in the game's outcome.
How will the Champions League Final play out?
Once again, though, that matchup will tip in Bayern's favor due to the absence of Gotze, and the Bavarians' defense is too strong to yield much from the Black Yellows' attack keyed by striker Robert Lewandowski.
Bayern shut down the high-octane offense of Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals. Although the Catalans were shorthanded significantly with the sparse services of prolific scorer Lionel Messi, their bunch still has more stars up front than Dortmund will have in this contest.
It's a wonderful achievement for the Black Yellows to be here and to take part in the first all-German final in this tournament's renowned history. It's indicative of the talent level the country boasts in football, as The Guardian's Stuart James highlights:
26 of the players Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund named in their Uefa squads this season are homegrown and eligible to play for Germany.— Stuart James (@StuartJamesGNM) May 23, 2013
However, when the dust settles on Saturday, Bayern Munich will leave the pitch with the trophy in the form of a 4-2 triumph—finally getting its win after two losses in the past three years in the final.