Three and one reasons for Borussia
Okay guys, time to take another deep breath before one of the biggest matches of this year's Bundesliga season. Even though the media tend to exaggerate a lot, this game day number 30 could be the decisive one concerning the championship in Germany. Even though we will have four important matches after the big match against Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening, a victory over the record champion could give Borussia enough momentum to secure the retaining of last year's championship. However, some 20 hours before the match, I am not desperate, I am not a basket case, I am really calm. Why? Well, there are several reasons for this feeling.
First: Borussia is still on a roll. The team underlined numerous times that they did not lose any ability compared to the year of the Deutsche Meisterschaft, in some cases it actually seemed that we even got better. Borussia did not lose the last 24 matches, Hanover 96 was the last team able to beat us some months ago. Borussia is on a roll against Bayern, having three victories in the last three matches on our side. However, this is only the statistic part of this article and as we all know, statistics do not count when the whistle blows at 8pm. However, the numbers show that there is no real reason to hide from anything, not even from FC Bayern Munich who was three points ahead of Borussia during the winter break. All Borussians know that the truth lies on the pitch – and nowhere else.
Second: Why should I be nervous? For me, Bayern Munich is the only team being under pressure in the Westfalenstadion. Borussia never said that it is their birth right to win titles each and every year, Bayern did. And even though they have an argument there, because they are one of best teams in Germany over the last decades, this goal of winning the Meisterschaft every year also means big pressure for the team. Even if Borussia will not end up on the top of the Bundesliga at the end of the season, the season of 2011/2012 would not be forgotten for many reasons and it would still be a success. In Munich, every season without any title is a pure disappointment. And even if Borussia should lose against Bayern, both teams would still be equal in points with four matches to go and it can be questioned if Munich is able to concentrate on Bundesliga when preparing for big Champions League matches against Real Madrid. I am pretty sure that Bayern will not win every remaining match of the season – and of course, this would mean an opportunity for Borussia. And should Borussia, however, win the big match against the secondly ranked Bavarians, it would mean a six-point lead with only 12 more points available. I am pretty sure that should BVB win, they will end up retaining the Deutscher Meisterschaft eventually. Therefore, all the pressure is not on Dortmund but on Munich. Christian Nerlinger, former BVB player and now Munich's manager, claimed after last week's victory and Dortmund's draw against Stuttgart that they finally have the power to make it on their own again. Anything but a victory in Dortmund and Munich loses this power once again. And maybe this pressure advantage for Borussia could be decisive in the end.
Third: Everyone who only saw one minute of the videos showing the atmosphere during the match against Stuttgart noticed that the Westfalenstadion could be a burning hell. Tomorrow, everyone standing on the terraces will know about the importance of this match just like the players themselves. And just like after the 2-3 against Stuttgart, every supporter regardless of age, sex, religion or whatever will chant for BVB for the entire 90 minutes, willing to give everything to the team he or she loves, willing to give this one percent which could help the team storm the opposing goal. And we will see how a Arjen Robben or Franck Ribery will react when the whole stadium starts a concerts of boos and whistles, so loud that it is hard to hear anything except this storm of hatred. Yes, even the Westfalenstadion could be the decisive aspect in the match.
Fourth: I honestly trust the team. I love the team, I trust in the ability of each and every player who will be on the pitch. This team gained so much credit over the last couple of years that it is hard to doubt them. They will not lose.
And even though this may sound arrogant now, I am fully aware of the difficulty of this match. I am fully aware of the great shape Bayern presented itself in over the last weeks, I am fully aware of the great quality the Bavarians have. This match will be a real slobber-knocker in terms of football laws and it may be remembered for years to come. Expectations of neutral viewers are high, everyone is looking forward to "the match of the season". And honestly, even though I listed some arguments for Borussia, it will still be an open game which could end up in any possible way. Therefore, let's forget about possible results and rely on facts – personalities:
Even though Mario Götze made it back to team training, he won't be one of the players able to play on Wednesday evening. He may however be ready to kick some blue-white ass on Saturday. But Felipe Santana will take place on the bench once again and it may be expected that Kevin Großkreutz will return to the starting eleven to replace Ivan Perisic and to present a more defensive left midfield. Ilkay Gündogan will most likely take one of the two places on the double six, Sven Bender could be back meaning that skipper Kehl would find himself on the bench but Klopp could also trust on Kehl's experience and go with Gündogan and Kehl. We will see...
Munich however has no real question marks behind the line up and will not miss any important players. The offensive line with Robben-Müller-Ribery-Gomez is one of the best in Europe, this should be honestly admitted. However, the defense with players like Badstuber or Boateng showed some weaknesses over the season and even former Scheisse 04 Ultra Manuela Neuer made some mistakes before. Impossible is nothing.
So guys, let's take another deep breath and look forward to the "match of the year". Everything seems to be possible and the time for talking is over. From now on, it is only Borussia. Black and yellow vs. Red-white-blue, champion vs. record champion, number one vs. number two. And in the end, it may be just a normal game like every other. Nothing will be finally decided afterwards, four matches will still be open to play... and there are some reasons speaking for Borussia to gain the upper hand on Munich. Just remember them, take your black and yellow heart and believe in this team. It deserves it.
Deutscher Meister 2011: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Gündogan, Kehl - Kuba, Kagawa, Großkreutz – Lewandowski
Former Champion: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba - Kroos, Schweinsteiger - Robben, Müller, Ribery – Gomez
Referee: Knut Kircher (Rottenburg)
Location: sold-out burning hell Westfalenstadion, 80.720 supporters, 8.000 of them Bavarians