Munich favored in Champions title match

Gary Lineker, one of England’s all-time greatest goal scorers, famously said that soccer “is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”

That will be especially true today in London.

Powerhouse Bayern Munich faces Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium in the first all-German final of the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s premier club soccer competition. The match kicks off at 11:45 a.m. PDT and will be televised by Fox.

“Most people with a little information into club soccer believe Bayern Munich is the best club team in the world,” LVH oddsmaker Chris Bennett said. “They are a big favorite to win.”

Bayern (minus-½, -135) lost only one match on its way to the German league title this season, and the Bavarian giants routed Lionel Messi and Barcelona 7-0 over two legs in the semifinals this month, signaling their re-emergence as a soccer superpower.

All that’s missing is a Champions League crown. Bayern lost in two of the past three finals, falling to underdog Chelsea (England) in penalty kicks last season, and hasn’t won the competition since 2001.

To end the drought, Bayern will have to slow an upstart Dortmund team that finished second in the German Bundesliga and features a high-tempo attack led by striker Robert Lewandowski.

Dortmund is 5-2-2 in its past nine meetings with Bayern but hasn’t beaten the club derisively referred to as “FC Hollywood” since a 5-2 victory last May. Dortmund also will be without star playmaker Mario Gotze, who has a hamstring injury.

“Even with Gotze, Dortmund would be an underdog,” Bennett said.

The German Bundesliga has led Europe’s top six leagues in goals per game for the past 23 seasons, and the total sits at 2½ (-140).

William Hill posted several prop bets — “Will there be a red card?” (No, -450) — as did the LVH. One of the more intriguing prop bets offered at the LVH is “Will any player score two or more goals?” (No, minus-450). Lewandowski scored four times in the first semifinal leg against Real Madrid.

“I think there’s too much talent on the field on offense not to have a lot of scoring opportunities,” Bennett said. “The thing for me is, what is Dortmund able to do?

“Dortmund can score on anybody, but Bayern Munich is so stingy defensively.”

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

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