Dress rehearsal for Dortmund, Bayern

May 04, 2013, 04:37 IST | PA Sport

German clubs will meet today, three weeks before their Champions League final clash

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has promised to take today’s Bundesliga clash with Bayern Munich seriously, although the game is unlikely to be much of a dress rehearsal for the sides’ Champions League final clash.

Robert Lewandowski
Dortmund’s striker Robert Lewandowski

Both coaches are expected to rest players for the meeting between second and first, and, since both have already qualified for the Champions League again next season, the stakes are strangely low.

Klopp joked that losing to Bayern this weekend “would be the most pleasant of defeats”, having guided his team into the Champions League final at Real Madrid on Tuesday — and allowed his players to celebrate accordingly. But he stressed yesterday that his side will give it their all.

“Of course this game doesn’t have the same stigma that the one on May 25 has, but we still want to make a really good football game of it,” he said.

Franck Ribery
Bayern Munich’s midfielder Franck Ribery

Nevertheless, with the Wembley final in the back of his mind, and second place already secured, Klopp will make a few alterations to his starting XI.
Mario Gotze is definitely out injured while players carrying knocks — such as Sven Bender, Marcel Schmelzer, Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan — may be afforded a rest.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes is set to be even more ruthless with his team selection, on the other hand.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery will not even make the trip to Westphalia, but that should not detract from what Heynckes predicts will be an entertaining game. “We are going to have Gomez and (Claudio) Pizarro on the field, and aren’t they top players?” he said.

Live Today: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich (Bundesliga); Neo Prime, 22:00

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