Saturday is the fourth meeting this season between Germany's two giants. After a 4-2 loss in the DFP SuperCup, which was little more then a glorified friendly, Bayern Munich took the first game at the Westfalenstadion 3-0. It was only fitting that the second meeting at the Allianz Arena saw Borussia Dortmund steamroll Bayern Munich 3-0, setting the stage for a final showdown at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
But what should we expect from these two sides come Saturday?
|Team||Final Third Pass%||Net Recoveries||Net Shots in Box||Net Duels||Shots/game||Possession %|
Looking at some key indicators of season long success, it's clear that Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund match up perfect against each other. While both teams are fantastic in the final third, Bayern Munich's possession based strategy gives them a tremendous edge in being able to try and break down a compact defense like Dortmund's. But where Bayern Munich fall directly into Borussia Dortmund's hands is their weakness in recovery. Loose balls in the midfield are typically the product of high pressure and proactive defense, and Borussia Dortmund are masters at at recovering the second ball, earning a net 15 more balls on average then their opponents on the season. Look for this key battle in Saturday's game. If Bayern Munich can deny Borussia Dortmund the second ball they take away one of their biggest strengths, and one linked very closely with success or failure of counterattacks. As both teams fervently outshoot their opponents and have nearly identical total shots per game ratio, look for the net shots ratio to be a big indicator of game dominance especially between these two teams. While both sides use possession to a good degree, it's not a great indicator for how Borussia Dortmund goes after Bayern Munich as we'll see in a minute.
|Team||Final Third Pass%||Net Recoveries||Net Shots in Box||Net Duels||Shots||Possession%|
|Bayern Munich - April 12th||0.657303371||-21||2||5||14||0.755814|
|Bayern Munich - Nov 23rd||0.625730994||4||2||-9||10||0.673442|
|Borussia Dortmund - April 12th||0.548780488||21||-2||-5||9||0.244186|
|Borussia Dortmund - Nov 23rd||0.5859375||-4||-2||9||7||0.326558|
From the two matchups this season in the Bundesliga, it's clear that in addition to their season long indicators, recoveries are going to be the big component in this match. When Bayern Munich thumped Borussia Dortmund, they dominated the net recoveries battle, while when Dortmund took a 2x4 to Bayern Munich's backside in April, they won the net recoveries battle by a whopping 21 recoveries.That ability to earn the second ball in midfield is going to be so important in this match.
One of the biggest differences in comparing there season long performance to their matchups against one another is the degree to which Borussia Dortmund cedes possession to Bayern Munich and does not challenge them for it. like they do against many other sides in the Bundesliga. In the April thrashing, Dortmund controlled the game by allowing Bayern Munich to possess themselves into giveaways given that Dortmund was a net loser on the night in terms of duels.
Another key indicator is going to be final third passing percentage for both teams. In the two previous meetings their performances were far below their season norms, as one would expect from teams with the best defenses in the Bundesliga. Any deviation from that pattern will be a big indicator of a shift in the dynamics of the game.