Two of Germany’s biggest sides meet yet again in yet another highly-anticipated Der Klassiker at Allianz Arena, where Bayern Munich play host to Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal semifinals.
Bayern Munich on a downward spiral
Things are not exactly going according to plan for Bayern Munich in the closing stages of the season. The Bavarians are without a win since their previous meeting with Borussia Dortmund, earlier this month and Carlo Ancelotti will have been rather disappointed to see his team fail to win a single of their four matches that followed. To make things worse Bayern Munich got eliminated from the Champions League after a pulsating tie with Real Madrid, which saw the Bundesliga giants end both of the legs with ten men on the pitch. Bayern managed to level the score and grab a 2-1 win in the normal 90 minutes to send the match into extra time, but Arturo Vidal’s 85th-minute red card saw the Bavarians head into a crucial part of the game in subordinate position which – together with poor refereeing – resulted in a 4-2 win for Real Madrid. The Champions League blow came too hard for Bayern who failed to beat Mainz last time out as they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw in the Bundesliga. Eight points ahead of RB Leipzig is quite a cushion, but Carlo Ancelotti will be keen to end the downward spiral his men are currently on and Der Klassiker is as good an opportunity as any.
Manuel Neuer picked up another injury and will be forced out of the DFB Pokal semifinal with a leg problem, whereas Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez could miss the match despite returning to training this week.
Emotions still stirred at Dortmund
It is the sixth straight year that Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund meet in the DFB Pokal, whereas the Wednesday’s game will also be their second meeting in less than three weeks. Dortmund will not have remembered the 4-1 smashing and will hold out for a revenge on the Bavarians this time out. Thomas Tuchel’s men are also coming off from a disappointing Champions League elimination marred by the terror attack which left emotions still stirred at Dortmund. The BVB recovered from Monaco defeat as they bounced back to winning ways with a 3-2 win over Borussia Monchengladbach and, knowing that DFB Pokal is their only chance of grabbing some silverware this season, Dortmund will be extremely motivated against their greatest rivals. Marco Reus’ return is a timely boost for Borussia Dortmund who will still have to overcome a couple of important selection issues ahead of the forthcoming clash.
Marc Bartra is recovering from injuries sustained in terror attack, whereas Mario Gotze’s illness ruled him out for the rest of the season. Additionally, Larsen and Andre Schurrle are still unavailable due to their injuries.
DFB Pokal semifinal Der Klassiker is the final wake-up call for Bayern Munich, whereas Borussia Dortmund think of it as their last chance of a trophy and there is no doubt that both sides will be extremely motivated to win. We should expect to see an openly-contested clash with goals on the cards here.
Top pick: Both teams to score – yes 1.57 (4/7) @Betfair
Alternative pick 1: Bayern Munich 1.55 (11/20) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 1.50 (1/2) Sportingbet