Mark O’Haire’s German Cup Final Tips – Bayern v Dortmund
Berlin’s Olympiastadion hosts Germany’s DFB Pokal final on Saturday night as Bayern Munich bid farewell to Pep Guardiola hoping for a second domestic double in three seasons and the 11th in the club’s illustrious history.
Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund Saturday 21 May 19.00, BT Sport Europe
The Bavarians cruised to their fourth league title in a row and will be confident of success against a Dortmund side who are clearly struggling to come to terms with Mats Hummels’ imminent departure to their big rivals.
BVB failed to produce a maximum-point performance against Eintracht Frankfurt (lost 1-0) and Koln (2-2 draw) in their concluding Bundesliga matches, both arriving after Hummels announced his move to FC Hollywood.
Bayern took the opportunity to stretch the chasm at the top to 10 points and although the German champions exited the Champions League at the semi-final stage in each of the past three campaigns, victory here would send Guardiola off into the Manchester sunset in style.
The Bavarians’ ridiculously high standards mean anything less than a treble is disappointing and various fans and media outlets have criticised the Catalan for failing to deliver continental success. But players and officials involved at the club are adamant Guardiola’s stint has been a huge success.
Bayern haven’t been beaten in 90 minutes in any of their last five fixtures against Dortmund and I have to admit, I’m a little surprised to see the favourites trading at even-money here. I fully expect the champions to defeat their bitter rivals.
Xabi Alonso should be available for FC Hollywood but the squad remains reasonably fit and healthy with former Dortmund hitman Robert Lewandowski eager to pile the misery on his ex-team-mates.
The Pole was awarded the Bundesliga’s Golden Boot award last week having topped the league’s scoring charts with 30 goals in 29 starts.
For Dortmund, Thomas Tuchel deserves great credit for keeping BVB honest in the title race until the penultimate week of the league campaign. But the Black & Yellows boss was unimpressed with his side’s low-energy performance in the final fortnight.
After overseeing the draw with Koln on the final day, Tuchel snapped saying,
“It’s much easier to keep your form than to regain it” – and the Dortmund head coach wasn’t wrong. And unfortunately for the underdogs, Ilkay Gundogan will be absent through injury.
BVB haven’t picked up any major silverware since their famous 5-2 cup win over Bayern in 2012 but their 0-0 draw against Bayern in March showed they can match their powerful rivals on a one-off basis. But even with 100,000 Dortmund fans travelling to the capital this weekend, I just can’t see Dortmund upsetting the odds.
It’s not often we get an opportunity to back Bayern at evens so snap up the attractive offer and put your faith in the champions signing off in style for Pep.
Bayern Munich to win @ EVS
*Prices correct at time of publication.