Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund
Champions League Final, Wembley. Kick off 7:45pm
Less than 12 hours until kick-off and I’m no nearer deciding who to back in the Champions League Final. Like most matches of this magnitude there’s a case to be made for either side.
For Bayern it’s a chance to exorcise some recent ghosts. Two defeats in the last three finals – the last one on their home patch – means there’s a an even greater determination to be triumphant at Wembley. Had the Bavarians won both of those matches you can forget about the much-lauded Barca teams of recent years being the team to beat, we’d be in an era of European football ruled by Bayern.
They’ve walked away with Bundesliga title in some style and the bookies rightly make them favourite but ask any Bayern fan in quiet moment who they wanted to qualify from the other semi-final and they’d admit they’d have much rather faced Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side. In Dortmund they face an opponent who knows them inside out and in their last ten meetings it’s Dortmund who have the upper hand (W4 D3 D3 F16 A 11).
There also feels like an element of destiny where Jurgen Klopp’s side are concerned. Their rebirth in German football has been a story to behold and the bespectacled Klopp is right at the heart of it. There’s a real connection between the club and it’s fans and if they can bring that magic to Wembley their fairytale could have its happy ending.
Bookies are going 4/1 (Boylesports, Betfred, BetVictor) that Dortmund win inside 90 minutes whilst it’s 5/6 (Coral, Paddy Power, William Hill) that Bayern do it. 5 of the last 12 finals have finished all-square and in the previous 3 meetings between two teams from the same country two of them have been draws. The draw tonight is a tasty looking 3/1 (Bet365, BetVictor). On a night where it really could go either way the draw could be the best value.
Taking that thought a bit further, StanJames 7/1 on the game going to a penalty shoot-out look far too big. All 5 of those finals that finished level also made it to spot-kicks. Based on that stat the odds on it happening again are much closer to 6/5 than the 7/1. For value get on it.
Finally, If you’re looking for value then you might also want to have a look at the Man of the Match markets. Won in the past by the likes of Drogba, Messi, Milito, Inzaghi, Gerrard, Zidane and Eto’o it would appear that those who score the goals win this market. But it has also been won by Edwin Van Der Sar and Oliver Kahn – in both games the match went to penalties. Bayern’s Neuer is 25/1 (Bet365, Boylesports) whilst Dortmund’s Weidenfeller is 16/1 (Betfred, Coral, SkyBet). Worth considering.
Match to go to penalties 7/1 (StanJames)