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Wembley set for all-German final

Wembley set for all-German final
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The home of English football will reverberate to the roar of German voices on Saturday when Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund collide at Wembley Stadium in the first all-Bundesliga final in Champions League history.

It is only two years since Barcelona confirmed their status as Europe’s pre-eminent side by outclassing Manchester United in the same arena to win the 2011 tournament, but the way that Bayern and Dortmund have torn through this season’s competition suggests a new continental order is asserting itself.

Bayern left Barca in ruins with an incredible 7-0 aggregate win in the semi-finals, while Dortmund’s 4-1 defeat of Real Madrid in the same round left the football world open-mouthed in amazement. Irrespective of the result, it is certain to be a monumental evening for German football, but the two sides approach the game driven by very different motivations.

For Bayern, the game represents an opportunity to make amends for painful final defeats in 2010 and, in particular, 2012, when a heart-breaking penalty shoot-out loss to Chelsea was played out before a crowd of horrified and disbelieving fans at their own Allianz Arena.

Dortmund, the 1997 champions, yearn to inflict further misery upon Bayern, who have gravely undermined their opponents’ attempts to establish themselves as creditable long-term rivals by snatching away star playmaker Mario Goetze in a sensational 37 million euros (£31.7 million, $47.8 million) transfer.

A hamstring injury to Goetze has reduced the risk of diplomatic embarrassment on Saturday, but Bayern are also believed to lead the race for Dortmund’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who put Madrid to the sword with an extraordinary four-goal haul in the first leg of their semi-final.

Saturday’s game will be the 101st competitive meeting between the sides and after seven encounters over the last two seasons, Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes believes there is little scope for sleight of hand.

‘Both teams know each other very well, both trainers are fully informed about the opponent, so there are no secrets for both the teams to hide’ he said.
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