Another Der Klassiker final is upon us as BVB travels to Berlin to play Bayern for the Pokal. After great seasons from both clubs, this game gives us the opportunity to make up for disappointing European exits. In our first meeting of the season Bayern thrashed us 5-1 at the Allianz Arena, and at Signal Iduna Park we were able to hold the game to a 0-0.
A big storyline going into this game is the coming departure of Mats Hummels to Bayern Munich in the summer. Many fans have called into question whether Hummels should even play against Bayern, due to a conflict of interest. Both Hummels and Tuchel have affirmed that the captain will be available to play in the final. Lets hope the captain can have a positive effect for us in his last game in the black and yellow.
Bayern are coming off a great season where they captured the Bundesliga title for a record 4th time in a row. Although they bowed out of the Champions League semi-final to Atletico, they have barely missed a step since.
When it comes to players whom BVB should worry about, Bayern have incredible talent throughout their team. Ex-BVB striker Robert Lewandowski led the league in scoring this season with 30 goals. Behind him is Thomas Muller, who had 20 goals on the season, 50 goals total between two is a scary thing to go up against. Behind them new signings Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa have fit in perfectly to the Bayern lineup this year, both crafty playmakers in their own right. Costa especially has terrorized the Bundesliga and Europe this year, yet BVB have managed to keep him locked down in our two games against him this year.
Bayern's crazy row of midfielders continues with names like Frank Ribery (who must be 50 years old by now, but is still so good), Mario Goetze (traitor who may be coming back), and Xabi Alonso (nothing clever to say; well maybe that he's about as old as my grandad?) are all quality players who have given BVB trouble in the past. Goetze scored against us in the 5-1 match in the fall, something BVB fans won't forget.
Bayern's backline has been equally impressive this season, especially under the weight of many injuries to key players. Jerome Boateng missed time this year but is still one of the best CBs in Germany. David Alaba and Philipp Lahm have been very effective as the teams fullbacks this season, each playing more then 40 games this season. Bayern's defence has been outstanding in the league this year only giving up 17 goals, a definite problem for Tuchel to tackle.
As for BVB we should expect a near perfect lineup for the game. A notable name missing will be Ilkay Gundogan who is injured for the whole summer with a major knee injury. If BVB's expected lineup tweet is to be believed the line up will be as follows
Overall that is definitely the best team we can field at the moment. Playing Kagawa and Castro will help generate more chances, but both are a liability on the defensive side of the ball. Weigl has been fantastic this season and this last test against Bayern will be a great test of his improvement throughout the season. Hopefully Aubameyang can be a difference maker this game, being the sole BVB player to score against the Reds this year.
Our defense will be the usual back four consisting of Hummels, Sokratis, Piszczek and Schmelzer. This is the selection that has worked best for us this year and with Weigl ahead of them hopefully it will be enough to limit Bayerns chances at net. If a goal is given up, expect everyone to put the blame on Hummels, whether he deserves it or not.
Honestly, our best chance in this game will probably come from Mkhitaryan who has been magic this year. His danger on the ball, and his elite playmaking ability are second to none. This game is hard to call either way, but of course we believe in the Black and Yellow to the very end! Echte Liebe.