The first ever all-German Champions League final is nearly upon us and the two week countdown is well and truly underway. The drama seen at Wembley for the FA Cup final is going to be hard to beat but, with two giants of the modern game coming to town, it promises to be a blockbuster final.
Bayern will be looking to crown a magnificent season with the biggest prize in football before handing over the reins to Pep Guardiola at the end of the season, but they won’t have it all their own way. Last year’s final heartache will no doubt be lingering in the minds of the players, as will the 2-0 defeat to Inter Milan in 2010.
Bayern’s 44% win rate in the Champions League final is impressive, but Dortmund come into the May 25th final with a 100% win rate after winning the 1997 final. Jurgen Klopp’s men have battled hard to reach the final and have been boosted with the news that Mario Gotze could still feature. Could he shock his new employers before his summer move to the arch-rivals?
Mats Hummels and co will have their work cut out with Dutch winger Arjen Robben in form and looking to score for the third successive European game. Thomas Muller showed his class by grabbing the headlines in the first semi-final against Barcelona and he will be looking to pip Robert Lewandowski to the top scorer between the two sides.
The fourth final between two teams from the same country will be a close encounter but one thing we can expects is goals; Bayern have fired home on 31 occasions so far this year, with Dortmund beating the keeper on 23 occasions.
The fast-flowing football shown by both teams throughout the tournament is likely to continue as the two rivals do battle. The tide has turned in Germany, with Dortmund winning all three of the games last season between the two sides. This year Bayern are back in business; they’re unbeaten against Dortmund with two wins and two draws.
Klopp’s men shocked the footballing world before with a dramatic win over Malaga and the famous hammering of Real Madrid. Both sides have shown their quality and talent in abundance and it all comes down to one chance on May 25th. You don’t want to miss it!
The 2013 Champions League final at Wembley will be the 58th time that sides have battled for the famous trophy.
In a long and eventful history, the Champions League final has thrown up many classic moments and created many heros, as well as a few villains perhaps. Starting in 1956 with Real Madrid’s 4-3 defeat of Reims, the 58 Champions League finals have provided 22 different winners with Real leading the way having raised the trophy nine times.
The four semi finalists all have experience of reaching, and winning, the Champions League final and will hope that it can assist them this year. Having reached 12 finals, Real Madrid have played in more finals than any other team but have not reached that stage since they won the competition in 2002. Fellow Spaniards Barcelona have played in seven finals (winning four) and have been one of the most successful Champions league sides in recent years, winning the tournament in 2006, 2009 and 2011.
The success of Real Madrid and Barcelona in this tournament is the reason that Spanish teams have won the final more than teams from any other country. With both teams looking impressive this year there will have been many Champions League betting tips suggesting that one of the sides will add a 14th win for Spain this year. The record of those two giants of European football stands well in comparison to the 12 times each that Italian and English teams have managed to lift the trophy and the six wins by German teams, including Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
One of a select group of teams to win three consecutive finals, Bayern Munich have very recent experience of making the final thanks to their appearance last year. That was the ninth final that they have played in but was also their fifth loss - making them the only side out of the four semi finalists to have lost more Champions League finals than they have won. Finally, Borussia Dortmund are the least experienced Champions League side out of the remaining four teams, having played in just one final when they beat Juventus 3-1 in 1997.
This will be the seventh occasion that the final has been played at Wembley and the second time since the famous stadium was redeveloped into a 90,000 seat arena. The first of those finals was way back in 1963 when AC Milan came from behind to beat Benfica 2-1. Since then, a further four clubs have lifted the Champions League trophy at Wembley: Man Utd (1968), Ajax (1971), Liverpool (1978) and Barcelona (1992 and 2011).
A point worth noting for Champions League betting fans is that none of those seven Wembley finals went to penalties and only two of them required extra time - Man Utd v Benfica in 1968 and Barcelona v Sampdoria in 1992. If this year follows the same pattern then a bet on the match being decided before penalties might be worthwhile.