There is no better way to end the year in German football then on Wednesday, when Bayern Munich will face off Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz arena. The two German clubs will play for the DFB Pokal in the round of sixteen. In a game where the loser goes home, you should expect the game to be a tense matchup between two teams that have a fierce rivalry. All the players will be up for it and they will want to make sure their fans have a Merry Christmas, considering the fact that it is the last game before the holiday.
Two weeks ago, no one would have ever thought that Borussia Dortmund would stand a chance against the Bavarian Giants. Bayern Munich were on a spectacular run of form and even beat Neymar’s PSG 3-1 in their last game of the Champions League group stage. Dortmund, on the other hand, were in a terrible run of form and failed to beat relegations battlers Werder Bremen at the Signal Iduna Park. It seemed as if the two team were on other sides o the spectrum and Dortmund will not be a match for Bayern.
Within a week, things have changed drastically. New manager Peter Stoger has brought life into the team and the players seem to be more motivated than ever to get back to winning ways. After a big win against a solid Hoffenheim side, Borussia Dortmund must feel very confident going into this ‘Der Klassiker’. They will also remember last years game in the DFB Pokal against Bayern Munich. After being down 2-0, Borussia Dortmund made an unexpected comeback and won 3-2. This eventually led them to the final match of the tournament, where they defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 and lifted the trophy for the first time since 2012.
Needing no introduction…
— The DFB-Pokal (@DFBPokal_EN) December 14, 2017
This can certainly happen again this year. Bayern have been very dominant under Jupp Heynckes. They have won fourteen of their fifteen games under the German manager and are considered to be one of Europe’s best teams. They are also playing at home, where they have not lost a game this whole season. Despite all this success that they have been having, they will certainly be wary of Dortmund’s recent improved form and the threat that they pose to the Rekordmeister’s.
Dortmund seem to be playing with a winning recipe lately. Surprisingly, a four-three-three formation seems to be working in their favor even with the same personnel that Bosz used. Shinji Kagawa has come back to life and Julian Weigl is improving now that he is healthy. Most importantly, Aubameyang is looking clinical in the final third and always poses a problem to Bayern Munich.
Their defense is even improving and they will look to stifle Bayern Munich’s attack on Wednesday. Sokratis is a top class center back on his day and is familiar with Robert Lewandowski. That matchup may be the one to watch, since both players will provide strength and physicality to the game. Peter Stoger’s defensive approach to games may help them, as he will look to prevent a high-powered Bayern Munich side from causing Roman Burki too many problems. If Dortmund’s defense puts in a shift, expect the game to be very tight and do not be surprised if they come out on top against the Bavarian giants.