Holger Badstuber (L) of Muenchen battles for the ball with Kevin Grosskreutz of Dortmund during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Dortmund at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich play a potential title decider on Wednesday.
Unlike England, where one team is running away with the title and both Italy and France, where the two main title contenders met with nearly a dozen games remaining in the season, Germany has produced a massive late-season title showdown between its two best teams. In the fifth to last fixture of the year, Bayern Munich travel away to Borussia Dortmund, trailing the defending champions by just three points.
Bayern have won every one of their games in the Bundesliga since mid-February, but unlike Dortmund, they have lost after the winter break. They are the two form teams in Germany, and it would be unfair to say that one is the clear favorite over the other on Wednesday.
Dortmund are missing one of their big stars, 19-year-old phenom Mario Götze. In his absence, both Jakub Blaszczykowski and Kevin Grosskreutz have been starting, and both are performing well. Ilkay Gündogan has finally found his form and is picking up some of the creative workload from Götze, but he could sit on Wednesday if Jürgen Klopp feels the need to go with a more defensive lineup. Sven Bender was benched in favor of Gündogan on the weekend.
Bayern will be boosted by the return of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has been unlucky with injuries this season. When both him and Luiz Gustavo have been healthy, they've made a brilliant pairing in the center of midfield, but that's rarely been the case. Gustavo did not start against Augsburg, but should return to the team for this game.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, April 11, 2:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 p.m. local
Venue: Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany
TV: GolTV (USA and Canada), ESPN (UK)
For more on the Bavarians, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works.