Bundesliga Match-day 32 Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern München

Friedemann Vogel

In the most meaningless of the series of five battles which will be completed on 25th May, Bayern takes on Dortmund in the Westfalenstadion on Saturday.

The moment when Toni Kroos struck against Dortmund on Match-day 15 is surely going to be remembered by quite a few of us for many years. Bayern had finally managed to take the lead against Dortmund. Mario Götze eventually equalized but Bayern confirmed in that match that they were ready to beat Dortmund.

Tactics

Dortmund tends to double up on the wings to prevent Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben/Thomas Müller from having any impact. This season, Bayern, thanks to Jupp Heynckes' tactical nous, has finally come up with a solution that sounds extremely obvious but is not easy to implement against a compact team: play through the center. Bayern used Toni Kroos' habit of dropping deep to great effect in the game in the league and in the Pokal. He played between the lines causing Dortmund plenty of problems with incisive passes. Also, they used Dante's precision to send long passes to Mario Mandzukic, Ribery, Robben or Thomas Müller.

In the Supercup, the Bavarians showed how to counterattack properly against Dortmund. Overall, the game this time will probably be more of the same. Kroos is not there to read between the lines this time, but even if he was fit, he probably would not have started this one. Dortmund's style will remain the same; they will double up on the wings, press incessantly and counterattack. Bayern will try to find a balance between pressing and keeping possession.

Team News and Lineup

Holger Badstuber and dear Kroos are out of this one. Dante sat out the midweek match but could feature in this one. For Dortmund, Mario Götze left the pitch early on against Real Madrid in Madrid and is set to be out for four to six weeks. Otherwise, both teams have plenty of options to choose from even though most of those options are probably tired because of celebrating by now.

Probable Lineup:

Manuel Neuer

Rafinha- Daniel Van Buyten- Dante- Diego Contento

Luiz Gustavo- Anatoliy Tymoshchuk

Claudio Pizarro- Emre Can- Xherdan Shaqiri

Mario Gomez

*** Update- Jupp Heynckes said that Lahm, Robben, Ribery and Schweinsteiger will not travel to Dortmund.

Final Thoughts

Ahead of the Champions League final, DFB Pokal final and Bayern's coronation in the Bundesliga next week against Augsburg, it is incredibly difficult to focus on this one. The bad blood between the two is obvious. Jürgen Klopp and Jupp Heynckes seem to like each other; there is mutual respect between the two. However, the same cannot be said about Hans Joachim Watzke and the Bayern hierarchy. Watzke already said that there will only be a handshake between presidents, managers et all in this week's meeting at the Westfalenstadion rather than hugs and lunch. Also, currently, Uli Hoeness is going through one of the worst times of his life.

Hoeness has contributed so much to Bayern and the Bundesliga. He is being looked upon as a criminal for the tax evasion case. While evading taxes is a crime, Hoeness himself admitted the crime. This personal matter should not take away what he has achieved both on and off the pitch with Bayern München. These next couple of weeks will perhaps see the spotlight fall on Hoeness aside from the all German finale at Wembley of course.

That's all the blabbering you will get from me for now. Thanks for reading!

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