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‘Dortmund weakened by Gotze absence’

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The absence of injured midfielder Mario Gotze has weakened Borussia Dortmund ahead of the Champions League final at Wembley against Bayern Munich on Saturday, Bayern playmaker Bastian Schweinsteiger said on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Gotze, who will join Bayern at the end of the season in a surprise deal worth a reported 37 million euros, has been nursing a muscle injury that has ruled him out of the biggest game of his career so far.

“When players like Gotze drop out, maybe the team gets a little weaker,” Schweinsteiger said a day before the team’s departure for London. “It would have been the biggest game of his career, so I sympathise with him.

“However Dortmund will put out 11 players who will give 100 percent for the cause,” said Schweinsteiger, hoping that four-time European champion Bayern win the trophy after twice falling at the last hurdle in the past three years.

The absence of Gotze may hurt Dortmund, but many of its fans had questioned whether the Germany international would be able to deal with playing against his future team on such a big occasion.

“We respect Borussia Dortmund, but I believe it’s down to us if we win or lose,” added Schweinsteiger.

“If we reach our potential, then there are only a few teams in Europe who can beat us.” — Reuters

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