Preview: Bayern München – Borussia Dortmund

So here we go. On November 19th, 2011, two of the Bundesliga’s best sides will convene on the Allianz Arena in Munich for a public training session what will surely be the most important match so far in this year’s competition, a defining moment for a generation, and most importantly, a brilliant Bundesliga Batrachomyomachia between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

To suggest that this match is “more than a game; it is a clash of ideologies.” (as many have done), is quite simply lazy journalism, with little regard for fact. When it boils down to it, though, Bayern and Dortmund are vastly more similar than they would care to imagine, both with a young (and rather decent looking, if I do say so myself) squad, vast support, names that start with the letter B, and a general distaste for Schalke. Bayern have not destroyed German football, they are not a German Manchester United, and likewise Borussia are not a bastion of righteousness, good, anti-capitalism (after all, look at the seven or so different kits they’ve worn this season), and all those things that we love to buy into. In this regard, I think it can quite clearly be said that Bayern Munich should emerge as the preferred team of most neutrals, simply for their honesty, but that for some probably irrational reason, they won’t. With that off my chest, let’s continue.

If you haven't heard of this young go getter by the name of Bastian Schweinsteiger here is a picture of him..

Bayern go into this match on an excellent run of form for a provincial team, taking an astounding 13 points in the last 6 games, including a 2-1 win against regional giants Augsburg. Alas, they are missing both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Anatoliy Tymoschuk to injury and suspension respectively, two players who have been excellent in Bayern’s surprising assault on the top of the table, players who will, with best respects to the Bavarians, most certainly move on to bigger clubs at the end of the season, probably along with coach Jupp Heynckes, who has worked wonders in Bavaria with a tiny budget, unearthing hidden gems such as Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, and Rafinha. It remains to be seen if Bayern can keep up this delightful run of form, or if they will go the way of Mainz last season, quietly fading away and eventually ending up in both the third tier and every “Whatever happened to?” column in Germany. Nonetheless, come what may, I think that everyone, regardless of who they support, can get behind these plucky little minnows from Bavaria, who have truly touched a nation.

As for Dortmund, there is little to be said. Despite a shaky start, they have more than made up for it over the last few weeks, destroying Jose Mourinho’s Wolfsburg 5-1, and can be sure favourites for this match, despite not having home advantage. With a team containing Shinji Kagawa, Marcel Schmelzer, Kevin Grosskreutz, and Moritz Leitner, there should be no excuse whatsoever for them losing, particularly as that is my Kicker fantasy team. Though I do have Van Buyten/Lahm, so it isn’t all bad.

Due to some very mysterious and sudden injuries on both sides, I cannot predict either the squads, or tell you the current location of Uli Hoeness, though I know that due to the Anti-Dortmund Conspiracy, (probably orchestrated by Wolfsburg, who ruined football despite a tiny budget with which to do so.), Phillip Lahm will have been nicely rested during the week, and Mats Hummels will be knackered from his performance as a replacement “Danger: Pitch is wet. You may slip” cone against Ukraine. This Conspiracy probably means that, with no effort at all, Bayern will win the match. Das Ende.

Wolfgang Stark: Would provide the comedic relief that is necessary.

Don’t expect much from this game. While I would love it, Love it(!!!), if I could say that this game will be a volcanic clash of the two most attacking teams in the most attacking league in the world (a piece of writing that would also shoot up views on this site, and consequently provide a huge boost to my egomania. They would also go up considerably if I was to say “Ali Krieger“. Sad but true), this would, alas, be the most depressingly wrong thing I could say with the meagre resources for depression I have. This game is condemned to go the way of other top of the table clashes between two champagne teams; it will be about as exciting as the opening sequence of Seventeen Moments of Spring (disclaimer: Seventeen Moments of Spring was a great programme, but the opening sequence could put even the most troubled insomniac to sleep.) The run of play will likely be zoo-football, that is, cagy, and the players will likely behave like animals. I would, in the interest of football,  make the suggestion that the DFB appoint Wolfgang Stark as referee, purely for humorous purposes, but even this may not be enough to salvage the game.

As for how the match will unfold, it will be a mostly harmless affair until the 5th minute, when Mario Goetze will go off injured, after a crushing tackle by Luis Gustavo, who will receive a yellow card and the everlasting enmity of the Dortmund faithful for his troubles. Dortmund will then play with a renewed but still mediocre intensity, with irritated passion until the 37th minute, when Mario Gomez bungles the ball into the net for a goal, despite thundering out an atrociously poor performance. This state of affairs will continue onwards until the half time. After a very nervous half time, the two sides will retake the pitch. Bayern score almost instantly to double the score, in minute 46′, courtesy of a magnificent hammering drive by Toni Kroos, before sitting back for the rest of the game. A clean sheet for Neuer is denied, however, by Shinji Kagawa, who pounces on a defensive error by Holger Badstuber in the 89th minute, slotting an easy one-on-one past Manuel Neuer for a 2-1. The final six minutes of added time provide an antidote to the humdrum played out for the first 90 minutes, being a nonstop Dortmund attack, which ultimately comes to nothing, though succeeds in throughly annoying the Bayern supporters and leaving them in a foul mood for the rest of the week. Time goes in circles.

Feel free to leave a comment

11 Comments

  1. It will be a close one, but I think Dortmund may just edge it, what with some crucial losses to Bayern.

  2. Really? I would give my hand and foot (I wouldn’t, actually, but i do love that saying) to have a legitimate reason to support Bayern, such as being from Bavaria or having Bavarian ancestry, which he is, and he squanders it on Barça?! Does his depravity know no bounds?!

  3. What’s more, he officiated 2 CL games involving Barcelona, and Barcelona won both, under controversial circumstances…

  4. He is. I think this would only heighten the endless enjoyment possible to derive from such a fixture.

  5. “Mario Gomez bungles the ball into the net for a goal, despite thundering out an atrociously poor performance”

    I don’t consider that satirical. I consider that a good prediction of Gomez’s performance

    From: A Bayern fan

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