Bayern vs. Dortmund: Bold Predictions for the Champions League Final
The UEFA Champions League final lineup is decided—it's Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund.
The first ever all-German affair will be played out in front of 90,000 expectant fans at Wembley Stadium, and here's an early look at the event.
Bold predictions at this stage are exactly that: bold predictions. But have some fun in the comments and give us your early read on the proceedings.
There'll Be Goals
Neutrals will say "duh," but after a few seasons figuring each other out, both sides have devised ways of nullifying each other quite effectively.
Early this season, the teams played out a diplomatic 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena, with Toni Kroos and Mario Goetze scoring for their respective sides.
Their latest meeting—a DFK Pokal quarterfinal in February—saw only one goal in the form of an Arjen Robben cracker. Overall, it was a bit of a dull affair.
But do not fear! Neither of these teams will set their stall out at Wembley, and Bayern won't have to absorb the possession figures they did in the semifinal versus Barcelona.
Expect a fiesta.
Final League Meeting Will Teach Us Nothing
On Saturday, Borussia Dortmund welcome Bayern Munich to Signal Iduna Park for one of the final Bundesliga games left on the calendar.
Many will see this as a preview of the UEFA Champions League final, but in reality, both sides will rest hordes of talent.
Mario Goetze won't be risked, Dante could remain seated on the bench, and both managers will flex their squads in a bid to steer clear of injury.
Bayern have already won the Bundesliga title, Dortmund are a lock to finish second. There is nothing to play for, and both sides know it.
Mario Goetze Scores Against Future Employers
It's written in the stars, isn't it?
Mario Goetze is a big injury concern heading into the final after limping off at the Santiago Bernabeu, but should his hamstring be even remotely ready, Borussia Dortmund will do all they can to prepare him for a start.
And with the "German Messi" agreeing to a blockbuster transfer to Bayern Munich from July 1, it seems like destiny for the 20-year-old to score against the side who will be paying his wages next season.
Just wait for "Celebration-gate."
Robert Lewandowski Draws a Blank
Robert Lewandowski conjured one of the finest individual performances the Champions League has ever seen when defeating Real Madrid at Signal Iduna Park, scoring four goals and effectively leading his club to the final.
But in the second leg, at the Santiago Bernabeu, he endured a frustrating night. His late strike smacked the cross bar but didn't go in, and he missed three or four good chances to put the tie to bed.
He proved he's human, and under the intense pressure of the final, in addition to the dogged marking of Bayern's stellar defensive line, Lewy could well draw another blank.
Someone else in Dortmund's lineup may need to step forward on the night.
It's Settled in Extra Time
It's too close, isn't it?
It's satisfying to say that the two teams who have played the best football throughout the Champions League have reached the final and are set to square off, and to choose between them feels like a 50/50 gamble.
The energy, the hunger and the bite in this game will be fantastic, but they could well end up inseparable at the end of 90 minutes.
Going into extra time, throw your predictions out the window and enjoy the spectacle. Pray it doesn't go to penalties.