Bayern To Spoil Klopp’s Last Hurrah In German Cup
Bundesliga champions elect Bayern Munich take on Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup semi-final on Tuesday with a second treble in three seasons a distinct possibility.
Saturday’s hard-fought 1-0 win against Hertha Berlin put Bayern on the verge of a third successive league title, with Bastian Schweinsteiger grabbing the only goal of the game ten minutes from time. Mathematically the Bavarians can still be caught but a single point in any of their four remaining league games or any dropped by second-placed Wolfsburg will guarantee the retention of their crown.
It’s now 13 wins in 15 games in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side, who’ve also kept nine clean sheets over that run of games too, while they’ve won an incredible 75 per cent of all their games this season.
Arjen Robben is the club’s top scorer in the Bundesliga this season with 17 goals, with Robert Lewandowski one behind him.
Dortmund picked up their second win to nil in a row against Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shinji Kagawa getting the goals in the first half. Their recent results have been fair at best though, with four wins in nine, and one of those coming in extra-time against Hoffenheim in the German Cup quarter-final.
Following their awful start to the season Dortmund were never really in with any realistic chance to challenge for the title and while Champions League qualification is also beyond them now they are only three points adrift of Augsburg in the final Europa League spot.
Aubameyang’s goal on Saturday was his 14th in the Bundesliga this season, double what Marco Reus – who’s next on Dortmund’s top scorers list – has bagged for Jurgen Klopp’s side this term.
Guardiola could be given a huge boost with the trio of Robben, Medhi Benatia and Javi Martinez – who has missed the whole season with a cruciate knee ligament injury – all nearing a return to fitness having returned to training. However Rafinha and Holger Badstuber have been added to an injury list which already features David Alaba and Franck Ribery.
Polish defender Lukasz Piszczek is out for Dortmund while the midfield trio of Sebastian Kehl, Oliver Kirch and Nuri Sahin are also absent. Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundongan should return to the starting XI having been rested for their win over Frankfurt at the weekend.
Head to Head
Bayern have won the last two of the three meetings between the clubs to date this season, but Dortmund won the German Super Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over Bayern in the season’s curtain raiser in early August. Bayern also beat Dortmund in the German Cup final last season while three of the last four meetings between the club’s in the Bundesliga have been away wins.
Back on form and with a treble firmly in their sights Bayern have to be backed here at home even at slightly skinny odds of 4/9.
It’s going to be something of a last hurrah for Klopp though who’s been a great manager for Dortmund and this is his last chance of going out with a bang. They should be capable of at least getting on the scoresheet so take both sides to score at 4/5, but a Bayern win and over 2.5 goals in the game is the pick of the bets here at 21/20.