Third Time Lucky for Bayern? – Champions League Final Preview
Saturday evening sees the culmination of the UEFA Champions League as Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund in an all-German Champions League final.
Both teams have had tough routes to the final but their performances throughout the tournament have warranted their respective spots in the final at Wembley, guaranteeing a first all-German Champions League final.
Gone are the days of English dominance in Europe which cropped up mid-way through the last decade, with an English club in every final between 2004 and 2009. Even the more recent Spanish grip on the continental game may have to give way in the coming years as German football looks to become the strongest force in Europe.
That said, Bayern have been one of the leading lights over the past few years, reaching two of the last three Champions League finals. But after losing both of those games, they will be desperate to make it third time lucky and get their name back on the trophy for the first time since 2001.
After scraping past Arsenal on away goals in the last 16, Jupp Heynckes side have breezed their way through to the final with dominant wins over Juventus and Barcelona.
They beat this season’s Serie A champions 4-0 on aggregate before humiliating 2011 champions Barcelona 7-0 over two legs, a match which sent shockwaves around the world of football.
For some time now, Barcelona have become renowned as the flashiest and most watchable football team on the globe with their easy-on-the-eye style of play. And for Bayern to hit seven goals past them over 180 minutes without reply, certainly surprised football fans everywhere.
Bayern have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match and departing coach Heynckes will be wanting to go out on a high with Pep Guardiola taking over the hot seat at Bayern next season and The Reds are the bookies favourites ahead of the final. Paddy Power are offering the best odds of 4/5 for a Bayern win.
Opponents Borussia Dortmund will certainly be no pushovers though, as they proved by knocking out nine-times European Champions Real Madrid in the semis. Trailing 4-1 after the first leg, Real did produce a fight back in the second leg with goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos in the closing stages but it turned out to be too little too late.
Betfred are currently offering the best odds on a Dortmund win and tempting odds of 19/5 for the Bundesliga runners up is an appealing offer for punters.
The 1997 Champions League winners will be without star striker Mario Gotze who is ruled out by a hamstring injury but talisman Robert Lewandoski will be available for selection. The Pole has notched 36 goals so far this season in all competitions, including all four in their 4-3 semi-final win over Madrid and he’d be a decent bet at 13/2 to open the scoring in the final with Bet Victor or William Hill.
Bayern have a handful of players who are more comfortable in front of goal and Mario Mandžukić seems favourite to score first, with a number of outlets such as Paddy Power and Bet 365 offering odds of 9/2.
Bet Victor and Paddy Power are offering odds of 5/1 for fellow Bayern attacker Mario Gomez to net first on Saturday night whilst top odds of 13/2 are being offered by Paddy Power and William Hill, amongst others, for Claudio Pizarro to score the opener.
Keep up to date with the latest odds on the Champions League betting odds comparison pages on the BritBets website by clicking HERE.
You can also claim free bets from Paddy Power by clicking HERE.