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|Match Result and Both Teams to Score||Odds|
BVB have not exactly been firing on all cylinders of late, but they should have too much quality for the visitors to Signal Iduna Park.
Back Borussia Dortmund to beat Bayern Munich (+1200)
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We have now reached the stage where Bayern Munich can take the Bundesliga title for granted. The club from Bavaria are closing in on their 10th consecutive crown. Bayern have long been the dominant team in German soccer, but before this current run their longest stretch of successive championships was three – achieved between 1972 and 1974, 1985 and 1987, and then again between 1999 and 2001. Fast forward to 2022 and it is hard to envisage Bayern not finishing on top of the pile any time soon.
This is not a healthy situation for the Bundesliga. Many followers of the league argue that there is plenty going on elsewhere to retain fans’ interest, and the top-four race and battle to avoid relegation are indeed more fiercely contested. But in an ideal world the fight for the title would be the main event. A World Cup with a guaranteed winner would not be the same, no matter how enthralling the race for the semi-finals is.
The concentration of resources in the hands of a few elite clubs is not a problem exclusive to the game in Germany. Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been by far and away the most successful sides in Italy and France respectively over the last decade. The Premier League and La Liga are more competitive, but only one of three teams in each division currently looks capable of winning the biggest prize.
It might not be a healthy situation for Bayern either. Stronger domestic competition would keep them sharp for the Champions League. Julian Nagelsmann’s side suffered a surprise defeat by Villarreal in the quarter-finals earlier this month. As a result, the end of the campaign will feel like an anticlimax – even though it will end, once again, with Bayern getting their hands on the Bundesliga trophy.
European competition has also become increasingly significant for Borussia Dortmund. BVB may have won back-to-back Bundesliga titles under Jurgen Klopp in 2011 and 2012, but Bayern’s financial muscle has made it near-impossible for them to triumph since then. Second place is not always guaranteed – over the last decade, Wolfsburg, RB Leipzig and Schalke have all finished as runners-up – but Dortmund are set for a top-two finish this term.
Just as it has for their upcoming opponents, continental competition has been a source of disappointment for Dortmund this season. They only finished third in their Champions League group, behind Ajax and Sporting CP, so did not make it through to the knockout phase. Dortmund were then one of the favorites to win the Europa League, but they were deservedly eliminated by Rangers in the knockout round play-offs.
Dortmund are also out of the DFB-Pokal, so they are guaranteed to end the season empty-handed. But even though there is nothing meaningful left to play for, Marco Rose will still be keen to finish the campaign on a high.
Dortmund will certainly not want to limp over the finish line, so last weekend’s 6-1 thrashing of Wolfsburg was pleasing in that regard. That was one of BVB’s most impressive displays of the season, as the Yellow-Blacks raced into a 5-0 lead at half-time. Rose will hope to see the same attacking fluency on Saturday.
Matches between these two teams are usually entertaining. The reverse fixture earlier this season certainly was, as a Robert Lewandowski-inspired Bayern won 3-2 at Signal Iduna Park. That win in December saw Nagelsmann’s side move four points clear of Dortmund and take full control of the title race.
There is some uncertainty surrounding Bayern’s future right now. Nagelsmann will still be at the helm at the start of next season, but Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Serge Gnabry are all thought to be considering their options. Bayern might have to embark on a squad rebuild this summer.
Before that, they can secure a 10th successive title by beating Dortmund on Saturday. The premature Champions League exit still stings, but the identity of their opponents this weekend – as well as the fact that a trophy is up for grabs – should be sufficient motivation for Bayern.
Nine of the last 10 editions of this fixture in the Bundesliga have featured four goals or more, which is why that looks like a solid bet for Saturday’s encounter. Combine that with a Bayern win to get full value. Dortmund are capable of causing the champions-elect problems, but Nagelsmann’s side will prove too strong on home turf.
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|Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund Information|
|Teams||Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund|
|Location||Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany|
|Time||Saturday, 23 April 2022, 12.30 PM EDT|
|How to watch||ESPN+|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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