Bad blood between Bayern and Dortmund gives cup battle extra edge
Bayern Munich take on bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund, who they are favourites at 11/10 to defeat in 90 minutes, in one of the most eagerly anticipated DFL Supercup clashes of recent times.
The intriguing encounter between last campaign’s Bundesliga top two has been heightened by transfer tensions, providing an exciting angle to a game which could have otherwise become stale, as the German duo have been pitted against each other in the last three Supercups.
Over the past two summers, just like clockwork, Bavarian giants Bayern have swooped in to steal Dortmund coach Klopp’s top players. First to cross the divide was World Cup-winning goal scorer Mario Gotze, 7/1 to net first in normal time, who contentiously swapped the Westfalenstadion for the Allianz Arena last term.
News of his impending transfer was leaked just before Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final date with Real Madrid, increasing tensions between the German clubs.
Prolific Polish poacher Robert Lewandowski became the next Klopp star to jump ship, arriving at Bayern on a free transfer after Dortmund forced the forward to stay true to his contract and see out an extra season. This saw the Yellow and Blacks lose the fearsome forward, who netted 28 times last term, on a free transfer, with Klopp preferring to utilise Lewandowski rather than make a profit.
Klopp’s team have managed to keep their dignity throughout these raids, continuing to quietly rebuild a squad that has lost several key figures on the back of their recent success, including Shinji Kagawa’s transfer to United and Nuri Sahin’s swap to Real Madrid.
Munich’s seemingly public pursuit of thrilling wideman Marco Reus seems to have been the straw that finally broke the camel’s back, though.
After Bayern bigwig Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed the details of the Dortmund attacker’s release clause to the world, hinting that the current champions may trigger it next season, the feud spilled over into the public domain.
In a statement released on Dortmund’s website, CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke slammed their rivals handling of the situation:”Borussia Dortmund must note with a certain annoyance that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is currently bad-mouthing BVB’s internal affairs”, he said. “It is obvious what the intention is behind such statements. “
“We assume that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge accepts that he is further damaging the already tense relationship between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.”
It has been widely reported that Bayern have decided not to move for the in-demand forward, who could be purchased for a fee as low as £19.8m next summer, believing it would damage the Bundesliga’s renaissance and reputation as a competitive league.
However, this does not seem to have appeased Dortmund, who are believed to have snubbed a pre-match meal with the Bayern hierarchy, and engaged in a further exchange of media sniping.
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc added his two pennies worth, stating Rumenigge should “keep his mouth shut”. This was followed swiftly by Bayern counterpart Matthias Sammer wading in to the fray to claim “no one tells us to shut up.”
The Bundesliga competitors have faced each other four times in the competition since it’s original inception in 1940, with Dortmund holding the head-to-head record of three victories to Bayern’s one. Last season Klopp’s side defeated Bayern 4-2, and are 70/1 to repeat that scoreline in 90 minutes.
This time, however, Klopp’s men face the dispiriting challenge of lining up against two of their former star players, with both sides likely to debut fresh faces in offence.
Dortmund have acquired significant striker cover, snapping up Italian attacker Ciro Immobile from Torino, who is 9/1 to score two or more in normal time, as well as proven Bundesliga forwards Adrian Ramos and Ji Dong-Won.
Bayern, meanwhile, will be able to boast free transfer Lewandowski, who can expect a hostile ‘welcome’, although perhaps not as volatile as the one received by academy product Gotze last term. The Pole is available at 5/4 to score anytime in 90 minutes against his former employers.
Current Bundesliga holders Bayern will be without French winger Franck Ribery, whose ill-timed injury ruled him out of the World Cup, as well as flying full back Rafinha and Spanish star Thiago.
With a large portion of Pep Guardiola’s side, such as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller, still recovering from their World Cup exploits, the time may be ripe for Dortmund to exact their revenge on the football field and silence their noisy Munich counterparts.
Fans will be likely to see as many sparks off the field as on, with recent sideline spats including Klopp’s tussle with Sammer having increased hostilities.
After suffering a humiliating 4-0 friendly defeat against Liverpool, Dortmund, 2/1 to win the match in 90 minutes, will be keen to reassert themselves and show that they can bounce back from yet another superstar departure.