DFB-Pokal Semi-Final Preview
The Bundesliga title is almost certainly going to be awarded to Bayern Munich. They’re nine points ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund and a staggering twenty-four points ahead of third placed pretenders Bayer Leverkusen. The soon to be champions however might not win the other domestic honour, Germany’s cup football tournament, the DFB-Pokal. There’s only four teams left and the two Semi-Finals and they take place this week; will Bayern absorb yet another championship or they relinquish the cup to any of the under-stooges?
Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen
The Tuesday night game takes us to the ever populated Allianz-Arena where hosts Bayern welcome sixteenth placed Werder Bremen. If the league standings weren’t enough to demoralise the Green-and-Whites enough; they have got an incredibly poor record against Bayern in recent history. They’ve lost the last six games against to the Bavarians and lost them without honour. The last time the sides met in March, Bayern thumped them 5-0. Ouch. Bayern had a very comfortable route to the semi-final avoiding a lot of the other big German clubs – instead playing teams like FC Nottingen and Bochum and from the fifth and second tiers respectively.
Many years ago Werder Bremen held a special place in my heart; fond memories of watching Torsten Frings, Pizzaro and Per Mertesacker are just flooding back. The dark green shirt blending into the pitch. Oh and that hideous orange number back in, 2010?
They’ve defeated teams with much better league form than themselves on this cup run, Leverkusen and Monchengladbach both fell to them. This shows that they do have the capability to win big games against bigger teams. Bremen’s form is terrible though with only one win in their last five – with no clean sheets. This cup game might not even be priority due to the club’s Bundesliga status in balance.
The expectation is for Munich to win by a few clear goals and comfortably do so. Werder Bremen might not even field a full first team eleven as they don’t want to get sucked into the relegation zone or playoff game. Bayern are unbeaten in their last nine; scoring an average of 2.1 goals per game. You can even watch the domination unfold on BT Sport Europe; where the mauling starts at 19:45 UK time.
Bayern Munich are 1/9 to win the game, Werder Bremen are 20/1. For further markets, check out the Betfect page for the event.
Hertha Berlin vs. Borussia Dortmund
This game has the potential to be a lot more evenly contested. Dortmund are already assured of a place in the champions league already through their position (second) and points tally. Hertha are still vying for the luxury of champions league football; craving that golden goose of television rights and the riches that come with it.
Berlin’s team has shot up the Bundesliga (currently fourth) and will consider this season already to be a success. The thought of silverware alone will be ecstasy to the Hertha faithful who had seen their team dawdle down to the second tier just a few years ago. Berlin again have a team that are competing at the highest level in German football and look comfortable doing so. Their cup run to this game was somewhat blessed – they have only had to play second division teams up until this round. Saloman Kalou has been their star man – he’s been excellent in front of goal too having scored fourteen already. Even if he is Chelsea reject. Hertha BSC have an excellent home record not having lost in Berlin since last October. They play well in front of the Berlin crowd having scored two goals in the last four games.
Dortmund’s route to the semi has also been rather comfortable, notably winning 7-1 against second-tier Paderborn. Dortmund might not have given up all hope of lifting the league title; but the cup presents a much more straightforward way to win silverware. This game and competition should therefore be a must-win for Dortmund. They last won this competition back in 2012; when they did the double under Klopp. This is a fine opportunity to restore glory to club, if they don’t win this cup – Dortmund will go five years without a trophy at minimum. Yes –the annual waste of time “Super-Cup” has been excluded from my count; one-game-trophies should be abolished for generally be a lost cause. Following their Gabonese striker has been nothing but exhilarating this season – Aubameyang could well be the operative of change the club need to bring back the cup, he’s been on fire all season with twenty-three league goals.
What’s going to happen then? It’ll be edgy and probably go to extra-time. Both teams have enjoyed good league campaigns and sit at the top end of the table. There’s the temptation to just say: “Dortmund are the bigger club they will win” but all factors considered: It will be Dortmund’s third game in six days. They failed to win last time they played at the Olympiastadion against Hertha. The disheartenment from the Anfield game will probably still be reverberating in a lot of the players heads too. These factors will ultimately be the downfall of Dortmund’s cup run. The Old Lady of the Germany will be victorious after extra time. This intense cup clash will be broadcast on BT Sport Europe from 19.45 this Wednesday (UK time) – ensure you clear your diary for it.
Fancy a flutter on the game? Hertha Berlin are 19/4 whether as Dortmund are 4/7. Check out other markets on the full page.