Borussia Dortmund host VfL Wolfsburg in the DFB Pokal final at the Olympiastadion, Berlin. The two teams will go into the game with contrasting seasons behind them. While Wolfsburg had a stellar season and finished behind eventual Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund had a very patchy campaign. JA?rgen Kloppa s men were in the relegation zone at the end of the first half of the season but turned their season around to some extent in the Ruckrunde.

Dieter Hecking will use the motivation of finishing second in the league and will want his side to do exactly what they did a few weeks ago when they beat Dortmund at home. JA?rgen Klopp will manage Dortmund for the last time and will want his side to finish the season just as they started it- by winning silverware (they had beaten Bayern Munich in August to win the DFL Super cup).

Both the teams have a set of players who can win games on their own. We take a look at a few clashes on the pitch that could decide the outcome of the game.

Sven Bender vs Kevin De Bruyne

Knowing how good Kevin De Bruyne has been this season, we could see Klopp starting with Sven Bender in the defensive midfield role in place of Sebastian Kehl. The 35-year old has had a good final season, but a match up against a much more mobile player like De Bruyne might be a bit too much for him.

VfL Wolfsburg vs FC Schalke 04

De Bruyne broke the all-time Bundesliga record for assists in one season and will be his sidea s biggest attacking threat in their bid to lift a trophy this season. Bender, on the other hand, has once again endured an injury-ravaged season and has managed to appear in just 20 games in the Bundesliga. His last full game came against Eintracht Frankfurt, a tie that Dortmund won comfortably in the end. Bender will not only have to watch out for De Bruynea s runs, but will also have to break the link up play between him and Bas Dost.


Stats that could matter

  • De Bruyne creates at least three chances every game.
  • Sven Bender averages almost two interceptions every game.

Sebastian Jung vs Marco Reus

Dortmund attacker Marco Reus will be his sidea s player to watch out for and he will be up against Sebastian Jung. Although Jung isna t the quickest, he is someone who covers a lot of ground. Reus will have a good battle on the hands as Jung has attacking qualities as well. We all know how good both the sides are when it comes to counter attacking, so Reus versus Jung might turn out to be a key clash.

Despite spending a lot of time on the treatment table, Reus is the cluba s second highest goal scorer this season. Junga s biggest problem will be that he hasna t played a lot of games in the last few months. Hecking does have the option of playing Vieirinha in that role, but ita s highly unlikely considering the threat the Reus possesses and that Vieirinha is a winger.

Stats that could matter

  • Sebastian Jung has a very substandard ratio for tackles won every game (.45).

Ilkay Gundogan vs Luiz Gustavo

Since his return from injury in the first half of the season, Gundogan simply did not look like the player he once was. However, after such a long time out with a Spinal injury, not much was expected of him as he was just returning to football. The mid-season break was the time when Gundogan had the chance to assess his performances and improve in the second half which in all honesty just couldna t get any worse.

ilkay gundogan

To his credit, Gundogan picked up his game and has played a key role in Dortmunda s resurgence. While the geggenpressing is no longer visible in the team when compared to a few years ago, Gundogana s role of a box-to-box midfielder remains. He will be up against Luiz Gustavo who has done a good job of the Regista in the Wolfsburg side. The Brazilian will have to be cautious and cannot allow Gundogan to link up with their in-form striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Stats that could matter

  • Gundogan has a pass completion rate of 86%.
  • Gustavo averages three interceptions every game.

*Stats courtesy