Frei tips Dortmund to win Champions League final

The former BVB striker has followed the club’s progress in Europe and is confident that they can beat their Bundesliga rivals at Wembley

Ex-Borussia Dortmund striker Alexander Frei has backed his old club to beat Bayern Munich in Saturday’s Champions League final.

The Bavarians hot favourites to claim the trophy for the fifth time in their history, having finished 25 points ahead of their rivals in the Bundesliga.

However, the former Switzerland star is confident that Jurgen Klopp’s side can claim an unlikely victory at Wembley, having followed their progress throughout the season.

“Borussia Dortmund will win the Champions League!” he told Fifa.com.

“I knew BVB would get past Malaga [in the quarter-finals]. The pressure at Signal Iduna Park when the fans get behind the team is so enormous, only the truly great teams survive.

“Against Real Madrid [in the semi-final return leg], Dortmund could so easily have landed a lucky punch, as people call it, then it would have been basically all over from the start.

“But I do have to say if the game had gone on five or seven minutes longer, BVB would have been knocked out.”

Frei went on to say that German teams are now setting the standard in European football.

“Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have developed a playing style which could well set the benchmark for the next two years,” he continued.

But an era like this comes along every two to four years. It’s been Barcelona for a long time, but Chelsea signalled the end of the era last season, and this year it’s been German teams.

“Having said that, the potential for German teams looks a lot rosier than for many others.”

JD's Betting Blog: Hoping Bayern Munich can provide a 16/1 winner this weekend

JD recommended the Bavarians at 16/1 for the Champions League in September and he has his fingers crossed Jupp Heynckes’ side can end their European campaign on a high

The final of the Champions League takes place this weekend. We are in for a real treat as Bayern Munich face their German rivals Borussia Dortmund in a mouthwatering encounter at Wembley. 

The German champions are 3/4 (1.75) to win in 90 minutes with the draw at 3/1 (4.0) and a Dortmund victory in 90 minutes priced at 15/4 (4.80).  

I am hoping my outright selection advised in September, Bayern Munich to lift the trophy at 16/1 (17.0) wins. Bet365 are offering a free in-play bet on the match and it is something you should take advantage of.

Dealing with Scandinavia in the football markets can be tricky but I have found it profitable over the years. Having local contacts is important and I have managed to build up a few through my work. Local knowledge is a vital component in beating the bookmakers.  

Many bookmakers simply wont have the depth of knowledge of lesser known leagues and you can gain an edge on them by simply knowing more. The Swedish Allsvenskan takes place right up until November and is one of the leagues where you can get an advantage.

Elfsborg are the current champions of Sweden and it is one of the most competitive leagues around. If you have not got the time to look into team news and preview matches, goals should be your outlet.

It only takes a short time to examine teams’ capacity to score goals and statistics and previous form can prove substantial enough to form an opinion in some cases. Many punters use the goal markets for leagues they are not so familiar with and it can pay dividends.

Looking ahead to the weekend, there are some interesting prices in La Liga. Many teams are priced up on a ‘needs’ basis and you can obtain value in opposing them. Malaga are 7/5 (2.40) to overcome relegation threatened Deportivo La Coruna and looks a solid option.

It is Manuel Pellegrini’s last home match in charge and their home form has been reasonably good, winning nine from 18. Real Madrid are 13/8 (2.63) to beat Real Sociedad away from home. We have to go back to 2004 for the last home victory for Sociedad over Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho’s side look capable of a win.

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Thank you to all who have signed up to www.jdfootballbetting.com. It is an all year round service and we will be very active in the market June and July. There is a special reduced price for this weekend and you can avail of it here at www.jdfootballbetting.com.

Schweinsteiger: Gotze absence weakens Dortmund

The 20-year-old was ruled out of the European showpiece on Wednesday with a thigh problem and the midfielder feels his side’s opponents will suffer as a result

Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger believes that Borussia Dortmund will struggle without Mario Gotze in Saturday’s Champions League final.

The 20-year-old – who will join the Bavarians at the end of the season – picked up a thigh injury during BVB’s semi-final clash with Real Madrid and suffered a setback on Tuesday when he pulled up just an hour after returning to training.

“If a player like Gotze is missing, that could weaken the team,” Schweinsteiger told reporters.

“But Dortmund will have 11 players on pitch who will give their all.”

After missing out in the final in both 2010 and 2012, Schweinsteiger went on to say that he was determined to win the final this time out.

“I want to win this match. This is why I play for Bayern. We want to win, no matter who stands in our way. And I hope that [coach] Jupp Heynckes will write more history.

“We have to concentrate on our game. If we live up to our potential, it is very difficult to beat us. Whether we win or not is up to us.

“We know what we can do. But I’m not thinking about this match 24/7. You need to be a little relaxed.”

Schweinsteiger has enjoyed a fantastic season, scoring nine goals in all competitions and the 28-year-old feels that maintaining his fitness has been key to his form.

“For me it was very important to playe throughout the season healthily,” he continued.

“Also, our new players were very important. We went a little further than last year. We made a big step towards perfection.”

Official: Petersen leaves Bayern for Werder

The former Germany Under-21 international has completed his move away from the Bundesliga champions

Werder Bremen have announced that they have secured the services of Nils Petersen from Bayern Munich on a permanent basis for an undisclosed transfer fee.

The 24-year-old spent the 2012-13 campaign on loan at Werder and he has now signed a four-year deal with the Weserstadion side to bring an end to his time with Bayern.

“I have been waiting for this message for quite a while,” Petersen was quoted as saying on the official Werder Bremen website.

“I am very pleased that everything’s panned out like I wanted to. I am very motivated for next season. I want to help the team make a step forward again.”

Petersen started his professional career at Carl Zeiss Jena and also wore the jersey of Energie Cottbus before joining Bayern Munich in the summer of 2011.

The striker failed to secure regular first team action at the Bavarians, though, and was consequently shipped out on loan to Bremen.

He netted 11 goals in 35 appearances for Werder this season.

Dante: Lewandowski best striker in the world

The Brazil international is wary of the Poland international and is full of respect for Jurgen Klopp’s men ahead of Saturday’s showpiece

Bayern Munich defender Dante has nothing but praise for Robert Lewandowski ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final and has warned his team-mates not to underestimate Borussia Dortmund.

The Bundesliga champions have won two of their four games versus Dortmund so far this season, while drawing the other two matches, but Dante has stressed that Jurgen Klopp’s men represent a formidable opponent due to the speed at which they operate.

“Lewandowski is the best striker in the world at the moment and it will not be easy to play against him. But we can cope with him if we play compact and remain focused,” Dante said at a press conference.

“There’s more to Dortmund than Lewandowski, though. They’re an excellent team and they’re very combative, no matter whether they’re in possession or hitting you on the counter, when they can be very fast and dangerous. Dortmund really deserve to have got this far,” the defender added in an interview with the official Fifa website.

“I don’t think it matters who you’re up against because it’s a Champions League final. Obviously neutrals would see it as more of a European final if Real Madrid or Barcelona were in it, but for the players it doesn’t make any difference.”

Saturday’s encounter at Wembley, the first all-German Champions League final, is scheduled to kick off at 20:45CET.