Champions League Final 2013: Key Questions Surrounding Championship Tilt

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24:  Claudio Pizarro of Bayern Muenchen (L) and team-mate David Alaba during a FC Bayern Muenchen training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League final match against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium on May 24, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are set to square off in an intriguing matchup to determine the 2013 Champions League final. The meeting between the two German clubs is only the fourth time in Champions League history that the two finalists will be from the same country.

Despite heavy competition from top clubs all over Europe, both German clubs have exhibited dominance en route to this final game.

Bayern Munich comes into the much on the strength of shutout victories over Juventus and Barcelona to punch their ticket to the grand stage. Borussia Dortmund went on a magic run that included close victories over Spanish clubs Malaga and Real Madrid.

With the domestic rivals set to battle it out for one of the sport's premier accolades fans should be treated to an intriguing matchup. These are the biggest questions heading into this premier match.


Will Mario Gotze's Absence Hurt Dortmund?

When Borussia Dortmund confirmed via ESPN that Mario Gotze would not be involved in the Champions League final, it saved Munich from an awkward situation. It may also have changed the complexion of the match.

The 20-year-old is set to leave Dortmund on July 1 for none other than Bayern Munich. While it would have been awkward for him to take on his future teammates, he's still one of the best offensive players on the Dortmund side.

Gotze has 10 goals and eight assists in 28 Bundesliga appearances. His presence in the midfield would have given Dortmund a leg up against their opposing lineup, but his absence will put the underdog at a disadvantage.


Does Dortmund Have Bayern Munich's Number?

Bayern Munich has dominated Bundesliga in 2012-2013. The club was only defeated one time and finished with an astounding 91 points to second-place Dortmund's 66.

However, they simply haven't been able to defeat Dortmund as easily as the rest of the league. In their last two matches, one in December and another earlier this month, the sides played to a 1-1 draw.

It isn't often that the two Champions League finalists have this much background against each other. In this case, the previous matches have shown that this should be a good matchup. Dortmund hasn't been nearly as dominant in Bundesliga, but they've shown they can keep the powerful Munich offense out of the net.

Bayern Munich may be the favorite, but Dortmund was only a missed Robert Lewandowski penalty kick from upsetting the league champions last time around. On the grand stage of the Champions League finals, things could be different.


Can Bayern Munich Continue The Champions League Dominance?

Dortmund has performed well against Bayern Munich recently, but no club has been more impressive in Champions League games than the German powerhouse.

The whole side has been terrific both offensively and defensively. The club has gone four consecutive Champions League games without giving up a goal. To make things even more impressive, they've scored multiple goals in each of those games.

Thomas Muller has been especially prolific. He's scored eight goals with two assists in 12 appearances.

Muller and Munich have been impressive throughout the tournament. Whether or not Dortmund's familiarity with them from Bundesliga is enough to overcome Bayern Munich's impressive momentum will be what determines who raises the trophy.