Both teams play 4-2-3-1 with similar styles, although Bayern retains an edge in ball possession. Dortmund are the second-most prolific scorers, while Bayern are the first (66 versus 69 goals). The current champions have had the best Rueckrunde, while the Rekordmeisters had the best Hinrunde. The forward attack for Munich has scored more goals than 14 Bundesliga teams, while Dortmund's attack has done better than eight. I could continue in this vein for a spell, but with pretty much every statistic you look at, die Roten and die Schwarzgelben hold the top two spots.
On Juergen Klopp's side, Mario Goetze has returned from long-term injury and practiced with out pain on Tuesday. I would expect him to start on the bench, however, and be brought in as a second-half substitution depending on the scoreline. No matter how wonderful a player he is, BvB have been doing rather well without him; undefeated in 23 straight Bundesliga matches. Julian Koch will also not feature; missing the remainder of this campaign.
Jakub "Can I buy a vowel" Blaszczykowski, Shinji Kagawa, Kevin Grosskreutz and Robert Lewandowski are the definitive teeth to Dortmund's bite with 42 goals collectively in their Bundesliga matches. And their bite comes late as 39 goals for the squad this term have been scored in the second half.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Guendogan, Kehl - Blaszczykowski, Kagawa, Grosskreutz - Lewandowski.
Jupp Heynckes, once again, has the luxury of too many quality midfielders as Bastian Schweinsteiger is (not quite up to speed, but) match fit. Daniel van Buyten, while given a contract extension, will not feature the rest of the season. And Breno will be, again, joining him in the stands.
I'll take a stab at Bastian coming off the bench in the second half to replace Mueller (with Kroos sliding up to the 10), or to directly replace Kroos himself; depending on the outcome of the first half.
And while Dortmund is decisively a second half team, Bayern does things a little differently. Die Roten plays their best football if they score in the first 15 minutes, and they have done this 15 times this Bundesliga season. However, they're pretty lethal in the last 45 minutes, too, scoring 37 goals after the half.
Bayern Muenchen: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba - Gustavo, Kroos - Robben, Mueller, Ribery - Gomez.
Now, the big questions: What do I think? How do I feel? Who will be victorious? Sigh. I don't know. Both teams are filled with class, for sure. I think that Jupp Heynckes should call up Stuttgart's coach, Bruno Labbadia, and ask him for his playbook, after the Swabians held Dortmund to a 4-4 draw at the end of March. I certainly don't see it as a butt-kicking, either way, as both squads are in great form. It will be tense, it will be passionate, it will be exciting. And it will live up to its billing. "Mia san Mia" gegen "Wir sind Fussball". A clash of the Titans, indeed.
Auf gehts, Bayern!
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