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FC Bayern Munich
Posted by Susie Schaaf on 05/10/2012

The first of two consecutive legendary Saturdays for Bayern Munich pits them against Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal final. Two versus One. The best defense and second-best offense against the best offense and third-best defense. The glamor club and the working man's club. The team that everyone loves to hate and the team that everyone loves to love. It's the biggest ticket in Germany right now- barring one, and although Berlin's Olympiastadion holds over 77,000 people, the DFB could have sold a few million for this one.

The story lines are indeed compelling: After a red-hot start to this campaign on all fronts, Bayern showed they were (gasp!) human after the winter break; only picking up three wins in the first seven matches of the Rueckrunde, and allowing Dortmund to overtake them in points for the Bundesliga lead. Meanwhile, BvB stumbled at the beginning of the season, losing three of their first six matches in the Bundesliga, and suffering an ignominious Champions League campaign that saw them tossed out in the group stages.

Without the pressure of Europe to worry about, Herr Klopp's young men got it together, suffering their last defeat way (waaaaaaaaaay) back in September, going unbeaten in 28 straight matches. Hats must be tipped to Dortmund, who managed to end this season amassing an astonishing 81 points! And while looking paltry in comparison, Bayern's 73-point-second-placed finish would have been enough to win it all in half of the last 15 years.

Die Schwarzgelben have a chance to win their first domestic double, while die Roten are looking for a bigger double and international glory. It will be hard, if not impossible, to put the thought of a fifth Champions League title completely out Munich's minds, despite the quotes coming out of the Bayern camp leading up to this match.

Arjen Robben has stated- and I think everyone would agree- that if he had a choice between the two, Champions League would win out. But if we are, like everyone says, fully concentrated on this Pokal final, Jupp Heynckes must field his strongest team. Yes, this includes players suspended for the Champions League final.

My Bayern starting XI: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba - Gustavo, Schweinsteiger - Robben, Kroos, Ribery - Gomez.

I don't think Diego Contento will feature in this one, because out of our three CL final replacements, he's the one with the most sh... stuff together. Tymoschuk and van Buyten might get called in, depending on the scoreline: Although, I hardly think this is going to be a blow-out. And Thomas Mueller will feature as our super-sub.

Probable Dortmund starting XI: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Guendogan, Kehl - Blaszczykowski, Kagawa, Grosskreutz - Lewandowski.

Only an attack that blistering can keep Mario Goetze riding pine, but he's sure to be the first off the Dortmund bench. Ivan Perisic and Lucas Barrios were BvB's two other subs in their 4-0 hammering of Freiburg. Lucas would love to feature as he is leaving for Guangzhou Evergrande, but again, I think a lot will depend on scoreline and fitness.

Unfortunately, Borussia Dortmund does best what Bayern Munich copes with worst: Press. That being said, neither match played this season was a blowout. Both were tight, hotly-contested affairs that ended 0-1 at the Allianz Arena and 1-0 at Signal Iduna Park. And when looked at from Bayern's point-of-view, the second match was winnable: Only Arjen Robben's penalty and sitter misses kept us from three points.

That's all water under the bridge, however. Does Bayern get revenge on four straight losses to Dortmund? Does Dortmund finally get their long-awaited double? Would a loss to Dortmund on Saturday deflate our hopes for glory the following week? Do Juergen Klopp's men get to boss it all over Jupp Heynckes'? You have to go back to Frankfurt to find a team that's beaten Bayern three times in one season. I'm gunning for our double, naturally, as if to say, "Yeah. You got the Bundesliga. But, we've got the cup. With one left to play for."

Auf gehts, Bayern! Kaempfen und Siegen!

You can (and should) follow Susie on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/fussballsusie

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Comments

Posted by Raul on 05/10/2012

Hey Susie, it's Raul, KC's friend.. We spoke when you were in Madrid. How are you?

Mia San Mia all the way. Nice article!

Posted by Susie on 05/10/2012

Hey hey, Raul!

Definitely nice chatting when I was in Madrid! Did you make it to the Lion and Eagle for the match?

Doing well, and bouncing around in anticipation of these next two Saturdays!

God, I love football!

Posted by murad on 05/10/2012

Gustavo has a knee problem, i am not sure if he will be fit to start.it could be Basti Kross in midfield, and muller behind Gomez.
in my opinion the Dortmud game is harder than the one against chelsea, but almost insignificant compared to it. The Kaiser predicted us losing to Dortmund and winning the most prestigious trophy.i think that we are going to win both finals just as you said, but i have one concern about the champions league final, is that Tymo can not play well in the air as we saw against Werder Bremen, also he is not a physical match to Drogba. good luck to us .

Posted by Susie on 05/10/2012

Murad,

Goose has returned to training, so barring reinjury, he should be fit to start. But, yes, if he's hurt, it will definitely be Kroos and Schweini, with Mueller at 10.

Posted by tcr on 05/10/2012

Dortmund will win this final, Bayern will be focused on the Chelsea Final and will try and avoiid injuries. Robben will get injured and miss the UCL final. :) Then in the final Chelsea will prevail with their reserves. They will out smart BaBayern.

Posted by Raul on 05/10/2012

Hey Susie, I didn't make to your bar, as I watched in in my hotel bar in Pompano Beach.

I think Bayern's gonna win both the games. The Dortmund game will be more difficult than the UCL Final.

Man, if only they had won the Bundesliga! Would've been quite a year!

Posted by mark on 05/10/2012

cant wait to make it 5x time a row!!

Posted by Michael on 05/10/2012

Dortmund may have won both the games this season but to me a 0-0 tie in both games is what it should have been. I give credit where credit is due and Dortmund has the Bavarians number right now but lets be honest. Bayern is the far superior talent when they play like they can. Dortmund's defense is something Bayern need to figure out if they want to win this one. I am saying a 2-1 Bayern win in extra time!

Posted by Ruud on 05/11/2012

Hey Susie, Alles Gute?

All of luck for tomorrow's game. We can do it...

My only concern is injuries; if giving "your all" in this game will result in missing players on the 19th, then i guess they can have the Pokal, i prefer the "Precious".

@tcr

YOU WISH!

Outsmart?!!? yeap, shows from their game against Liverpool. Who do you support, or are you just anti-Bayern? Either way, big fail!

Auf Gehts, Die Roten!

Posted by Susie on 05/11/2012

Raul---

That's a shame! Heard it was great atmosphere.

TCR---

A Blues supporter, eh? You'll get your shot here next week.

Mark---

Ahhhhhhh... We'll see.

Michael---

0-0 would have been deserved in the first match, for sure. But, the second could have gone any number of ways. That being said, Dortmund can be beaten. And Saturday would be a great place to start.

Ruud---

We've been playing twice a week for over two months now. These two relaxing weeks are a luxury! ;)

Seriously, I fail to see how we don't field a full strength side. Second half subs will be important, for sure.

Posted by Azhar on 05/11/2012

Dear Susie,

I'm a Bayern fan from Malaysia and watching through the season of play this year, I think Dortmund would somehow get the better of us..Yes our losses this season to them was very close, but they somehow know how to nick a win against us...Like Arjen, I would prefer Bayern to win the Champs League because from my point of view, our wingers will harm Chelsea's defence when we attack..Barca can't penetrate through the middle because of they packed their midfield and defended stubbornly..Bayern meanwhile have two top class wingers that can hurt any team in the world..Bayern for Champs League!!!!

Posted by Paul on 05/11/2012

Is the DFB final being broadcast in the US? I don't see it listed by any of the usual suspects.

Posted by Susie on 05/11/2012

Azhar,

I don't see why we can't nick both!

Paul,

It's scheduled for ESPN3 here in the US, so I wouldn't be surprised if ESPNDeportes picks it up. But, they often add it to their schedule last minute. Keep checking their scheduling site. And I'll let everyone know if/when it becomes official.

Posted by Samrin on 05/11/2012

Hey Susie,
First of all, fingers crossed that we don't pull of a Neverkusen. Secondly, great to hear your thoughts- I always enjoy reading what you have got to say. Two Saturdays- seven days apart- Oh my- what an end to a season. reminds of 2010- but I don't really wanna remember that day in May in Madrid- its painful- the journey was fun and coming second was great. Dortmund will be a difficult one to crack- but we might just crack that nut tomorrow..:)

Posted by Susie on 05/11/2012

Samrin---

I can't imagine a world where we would pull a Neverkusen. :)

And even though we lost in '10, the Bayern faithful in Madrid still managed to have a great time. From what I remember, of course...

Posted by Dan on 05/12/2012

susie,pls,i need help.i writting from Ghana,west Africa.I ve supported bayern since my birth.Now,i want to be a registered member of bayern munich but wen i download the membership form from our website,it is in German which i cant read and understand.pls,help me.i am dying to be a registered member and contribute my quota to help our dear club.pls,if u can,show me how i can become a member.pls.i m counting on u.whenever i call any1 at the bayern office,they all speak german.anyway,i bliv we can win this cup but it will depend on bvb.if they giv it to us,we will take it but if the dont and fight for it,i dont think we will stretch ourselves too much cuz we really need the champs league trophy more dan the pokal eventhough it wld be beautiful to win both.the champs league final in our home is a perfect position for us to make it 5.i m waiting for ur help on ma menbership.gud luck to us.

Posted by Samrin on 05/12/2012

Susie

After today, I am not sure we are gonna win next week. Anyways, are you going to the Allianz on Saturday?

Posted by albo on 05/12/2012

I hope we win the champions league, but that will be covering some serious cracks in this team. As far as I'm concerned, they don't need to field any more than eleven plays in the match day squad. What's the use of a bench if You don't need them. Roben and Ribery are great on individual basis, but they make our attack so predictable by spending too much time on the ball. To get to the next level, schweinsteiger needs to get off that flat foot. It may not be popular, but Bayern need a striker like Luis Suarez.

Posted by murad on 05/13/2012

The game today was catastrophic, i do not remember a game at this level where a single individual (Boateng) has caused his team to concede 3 goals in less than 45 minutes. I hope he turns this around against chelsea, because we really need him then.
bis dann.

Posted by Obinna Esoro ( NIgeria ) on 05/18/2012

Hi Sussie....
I want us to keep the catastrophe of last saturday Behind..." Behold" it is upon us now, just like DAN said..if they give us the DFB Pokal..well take it..If not we wont stretch ourselves..That Beating wass bkos we were distracted....."Routing for the BIG ONE"..the UCL..
Boatend shld concentrate.. know he reserved his strentgth for the UCL..Please Please and please Sussie..i beg you..If u can get it across to the TEAM....They MUST WIN CHELSEA ! if not we are finished. I cant bear it if Chelsea wins..
They'll boo me out of this life here in NIgeria..
I will wear my RED/GOLD jersey boldly beleiving BAYERN will WIN and to Hel with Dortmund and theor DFB Pokal cup victory.

I love Bayern Munich with all my heart

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