Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is the best candidate to analyse the effects pressure poses on a team, after his Premier League side fought hard to keep their head above water in the previous season.
The last time Borussia Dortmund lifted the European Champions League, Lambert was part of that team. The Scot remembers how, just like the current side, the odds were highly against them to win in 1997.
He was with Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp on the Wembley pitch on Friday as they shake off pressure, preparing for Saturday’s all- German Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
“Everything is on Bayern,” Lambert told London Evening Standard. “Memories of losing in 2010 and 2012 finals could well be a big factor. Dortmund can play open and free because no one expects them to win.
“Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben missed penalties against Chelsea last year and they will want to atone for that but they will go in there with that pressure.
“It doesn’t matter how big a player you are, you still have that expectancy level on your shoulders and Bayern are desperate to win it for a fifth time.
The Bavarian giants maintains a slight edge over their opponent going into Saturday’s final, they won the league in style, 25 points ahead of Dortmund. Both teams have met four times this season, two of those (Bundesliga) clashes drawn with Bayern recording victory in the remaining two ( German Super Cup and DFB Pokal Cup). Suffix to say Bayern are in for a treble winning season, however, Lambert thinks there’s more to an all- German Wembley ‘klassiker’ than meets the eye.
“If you look at the season, Bayern are ahead of Dortmund. But it’s the final they would not have wanted because it’s against German side they know can hurt and beat them.
“Dortmund have no fear,” Lambert noted. “They have beaten Real Madrid in the semi- finals and know Bayern inside out.”