Allianz Arena, 28 April 2015 1830 UTC
As the season enters its final phase, two great modern rivals of German football Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund rekindle their rivalry in the fourth Klassiker of the season. Both teams have come face-to-face in DFB Pokal in the past three seasons, two times in the finals. Both teams won the final one apiece on those occasions with Dortmund winning the cup in 2012 at the cost of Bayern and the Bavarians won the final to complete a domestic double in a 2-0 victory last year. Both these teams clashed in the quarterfinals of 2012-13 season where Dortmund lost 1-0 on aggregate to all conquering Bayern. With Jurgen Klopp set to leave his post as Dortmunda s head coach at the end of this season, his team will be eager to bid farewell by winning a trophy despite enduring a rocky season.
Head coach Pep Guardiola has recently quoted that his team are reduced to bare bones with a string of injuries sidelining half of his regular players.But on Tuesday that might not be the case as Javi Martinez has returned to full-training after a lengthy-injury layoff. The Spaniard could be named on the bench for the Semifinal clash at Allianz Arena. Bastian Schweinsteiger made a return into the starting XI in last weeka s match against Hertha BSC scoring the only goal of the match. The goal proved to be a title clinching one as Bayern were crowned German Champions for the 25th time after Wolfsburg lost 1-0 to Monchengladbach on Sunday. More good news came in on Monday as Mehdi Benatia and Arjen Robben returned to team training. Although the duo may not feature in Tuesdaya s match, their return serves as a huge boost for Bayern. Absentees for the match include David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Franck Ribery. The pressure is more on Bayern as the Bavarians are in race to win a second treble in three years and a match Borussia Dortmund will never be easy. Guardiola has tried fielding a rare double pivot with Schweinsteiger and Lahm on Saturday against Hertha Berlin which performed fairly well, despite not fully recovering from midweeka s Champions League match against FC Porto. But the Catalan might revert back to a three man midfield of Lahm, Alonso and Thiago against Dortmund. Sealing the league will not distract Die Roten, as reaching the cup final in Berlin will be a crucial step towards the treble.
Probable Lineups (4-3-3): Neuer; Rode, Boateng, Dante, Bernat; Lahm, Alonso, Thiago; Muller, Lewandowski, Gotze
Jurgen Klopp appreciated but refused Bayern Municha s gesture of presenting him with flowers before the start of Tuesdaya s match, by quoting a The flower plans are a lovely gesture but on Tuesday we’re looking for fight.a The former Mainz coach has made his intentions clear that he will be not softened by flowers as he looks to end his time at Dortmund by lifting the only trophy that Dortmund still have a chance of winning this season. Dortmund have lost three of the four Klassikers to Bayern this season their last victory coming in the German Supercup at the start of the season. The Borussians reached the cup finals last season, but two extra time strikes from Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller condemned them a third German Cup under Jurgen Klopp. Roman Weidenfeller will be out of Tuesdaya s tie. The veteran goalkeeper has picked up a groin injury in the match against Paderborn on Saturday. Australian goalkeeper Mitch Langerak will replace the German between the sticks. Klopp has to try out a different tactic this time around, because Guardiola has the got better of him in the past few matches by sacrificing his possession philosophy to nullify the effect of Dortmunda s counter pressing. Die Schwarzgelben need to put the defeats behind them and go into Tuesdaya s semis with a fresh mentality if they wish to give their beloved coach a great sendoff.
Probable Lineups (4-2-3-1): Langerak; Durm, Papastathopoulos, Hummels, Schmelzer; Gundogan, Ginter; Blaszczykowski, Kagawa, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang
Players to Watch Out For
The Polish forward has scored the only goal of the game against his former employers in early April which Bayern won 1-0 at the Signal Iduna Park. Dortmund defenders will have to be wary of their former teammatea s runs inside the box and any lapse in concentration might lead to a goal. The strikera s confidence will be high after he scored a double against FC Porto in a 6-1 victory in the Champions League quarterfinals last week. Lewandowski has already lifted the cup twice as a Dortmund player and will be eyeing a third one but this time in a Bayern shirt.
The Gabon international might not be having the best of times with Dortmund as he had been often guilty of wasting chances to score which has been a major concern for the Yellow and Blacks. But he has got his name on the scoresheet in the past two matches against Frankfurt and Paderborn in Bundesliga and looked to have regained his scoring touch. Against Bayern, the striker has been ineffectual upfront in the past three meetings, but on his day he can punish any slow defender with his pace and trickery. If Dortmund come up with a new plan to stop Bayern this time, Aubameyang will definitely play a crucial role in it.
Bayern Munich 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
Based on the past three meetings between these two arch-rivals, Bayern are the clear favorites to enter the final at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. They have successfully thwarted Dortmunda s plans in the recent outings even though Dortmund gave their best against the Bavarians. Tough times seem to be behind Bayern as they thrashed Porto 6-1 in the quarterfinals of Champions League with all the injuries and medical staff resignation surrounding them. Dortmund might be out of relegation danger, but their inconsistency against top sides has remained the same and on Tuesday it will be difficult for them to hold Bayern.
Blast From The Past
Bayern defeated Dortmund in last season’s DFB Cup Final in Berlin. Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller scored in extra time to give Bayern a 2-0 victory.