WILL Jurgen Klopp leave Dortmund on a high by claiming German Cup glory? Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has a look at the best betting options ahead of Saturday night’s duel.
Borussia Dortmund v Wolfsburg | Saturday 19.00 | Sky Sports 1
It’s the end of an era this weekend. Jurgen Klopp’s reign as Dortmund manager comes to a close and fittingly, the madcap BVB boss takes charge of the Black & Yellows in the DFB Pokal final. Some would say victory is inevitable – a parting gift, if you like. Destiny, written in the stars, it’s mean to be… yep, we’ll hear it all in the build up to the Berlin showpiece.
Dortmund have been a pale imitation of the side that saw football fans fall in love with Klopp’s team in the past few years. Languishing in the relegation zone at Christmas, BVB deserve credit for their outstanding turnaround. A return of W9-D3-L3 in the Bundesliga saw the Black & Yellows finish in seventh and there can be no doubt that Klopp’s emotional departure has had a positive effect on the team’s performances.
And Klopp’s not the only player looking to sign off the 2014/15 campaign on a high before leaving for pastures new. Club captain Sebastian Kehl is moving on this summer following 14 years at the club whilst Ilkay Gundogan is also heading for the exit.
But despite the obvious emotional attachment for Dortmund and their improvement in past few months, I just cannot be entertaining the Black & Yellows as favourites on Saturday night. There’s literally no foundation for it, based on form and squad strength.
Sure, Dortmund overcame Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the semi-final on penalties but their league record on the road this season excluding the bottom-six reads W1-D2-L7. Incredibly, in 12 of their 17 away days in the Bundesliga they’ve conceded at least twice. So how will they cope against one of Germany’s sharpest attacks?
Producing another haphazard defensive showing would be unforgivable against Wolfsburg. Dieter Hecking’s men are looking to secure only a second ever domestic trophy for the Wolves and will be desperate to round off a hugely impressive season with a piece of silverware.
Having taken just five points from their opening five league fixtures, Wolfsburg returned W19-D7-L3 from their final 29 matches – that’s a 2.21 points-per-game and over a 34-game season would have given the Wolves a tally of 75 points – just four shorter than eventual runaway champions Bayern.
Hecking’s men head into the final knowing they had the better of Dortmund just a fortnight ago and with Kevin De Bruyne enjoying a record-breaking season for goals and assists in Germany, I just don’t see BVB being good enough at the back to stop Wolfsburg on Saturday, sadly.
There’s no obvious nor sane reason to have Wolfsburg as outsiders so I’m chuffed to be able to back the Wolves at 9/4 (Boylesports) to win in 90 minutes. For more conservative punters, Paddy Power are offering 5/4 on Hecking’s troops in the Draw No Bet market and whilst it’s true they’ve only W1-D3-L4 on their travels to top-half clubs, only two of those losses have occurred in the past six months.
Elsewhere, Over 2.5 Goals can be snapped up at 3/4 with Ladbrokes. It’s proven a winning selection in nine of the last 10 head-to-heads between these two teams and in 10 of the previous 15 German Cup finals. Wolfsburg have been involved in 10/17 Over 2.5 Goals games when playing away in the Bundesliga whilst Dortmund have followed suit in 11/17 so there’s plenty of reason to get involved in a goal-heavy game too.
Borussia Dortmund v Wolfsburg – Wolfsburg to win (9/4 Boylesports)
Borussia Dortmund v Wolfsburg – Over 2.5 Goals (3/4 Ladbrokes)