Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund square off in the DFB Cup final this Saturday with Der Klassiker being the fitting end to an exciting campaign which saw the Bavarians retain the Bundesliga title. Spotlight will be upon Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels, who will join Bayern in the summer transfer market and German defender is likely to be put through a rough treatment from the stands should he feature on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola lead his team to their fourth Bundesliga title on the bounce and the Bavarians will be confident of success as they prepare to lock horns with Thomas Tuchel’s side. DFB Pokal triumph would provide a happy ending to Pep Guardiola’s reign at Bayern Munich in his final game in charge, following Champions League exit which came as unpleasant surprise this season. Still, Guardiola is packing his bags for Manchester City hoping that Saturday will present him with his second domestic double in three seasons and 11th in the club’s illustrious history. Carlo Ancelotti will take over the reins in the summer and the fans are eagerly expecting the Italian to arrive and lead their team to new victories. Bayern Munich have wrapped up two major deals even before the beginning of the transfer window. The Bavarians have pipped Manchester United to the signing of Benfica sensation Renato Sanches and has been widely praised for their undercover operation which took Europe by surprise as everyone expected the 18-year old to join Red Devils. A €35 million deal has been confirmed and finalized earlier last month, only days before the confirmation of Mats Hummels, who has become yet another Borussia Dortmund first-team member to switch his allegiance and join Bayern Munich.
Pep Guardiola is likely to field his strongest team against Borussia Dortmund and will have almost full crop of players to choose from.
Arjen Robben is the only one unavailable at the moment as the 32-year-old Arjen Robben is struggling with Abductor problems.
Thomas Tuchel’s team have finished the season ten points behind their greatest rivals Bayern Munich, but things went from bad to worse when Mats Hummels decided to leave Dortmund and head out to Bayern Munich to join Lewandowski and Gotze as the third key member to switch bitter clubs. BVB suffered a major morale dip in recent weeks as they failed to win their final two league games against Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Koln, allowing Bayern to extend the gap and finish the season on a high. Thomas Tuchel was angry with his team’s performance on the final day in the league and there is little to suggest that Dortmund will be able to cope with Bayern on Saturday. However, a Cup win could be a way for Borussia to console themselves from domestic woes and European losses. The Black and Yellow have not picked up any major silverware since 5-2 Cup win over Bayern in 2012 and Thomas Tuchel’s men could find plenty of motivation to go out and put on their best performance in order to rescue the lost season. Team’s captain Mats Hummels could expect a few whistles following his acrimonious exit which can ultimately disrupt the team atmosphere and Tuchel could be tempted to even leave Hummel slut of contention.
Neven Subotic is still recovering from his arm injury and will not be able to help his team in the Cup final or prove support for the indisposed Mats Hummels.
Joo-Ho Park is out of contention as well, while Tuchel will be deprived of the services of Ilkay Gundogan, who is ruled out until August.
Key Factors to Consider
- Bayern Munich have won their fourth consecutive Bundesliga title
- Bavarians are on the hunt of their 11th Cup title
- Dortmund have last won a trophy in 2012
- Tuchel’s men are winless in last five meetings with Bayern
- Pep Guardiola is leading Bayern in his final game in charge
Bayern Munich head into the Cup final in much better atmosphere on the back of their comprehensive Bundesliga triumph and with an edge over their bitter rivals. Borussia Dortmund have last beaten Bayern in 2014 and will be in for another difficult task as Guardiola’s men are likely to prove to tough of a nut to crack.