Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will brace themselves for the first Der Klassiker of the season as the two teams meet in the DFL Supercup on Wednesday.
Following a surprising set of results on Matchday 2 of the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will face an acid test on Wednesday, as they lock horns in the final of the DFL Supercup.
Bayern suffered only their third defeat under Hansi Flick, in the recent game against Hoffenheim, as they slumped to a 4-1 loss. It was a disastrous result for the Bavarians, especially given the fact they could have easily taken advantage of Borussia Dortmund dropping all three points against FC Augsburg on Saturday.
Nevertheless, Flick, who was been exceptional as the Bayern Munich boss after delivering a treble, will be eyeing more silverware when they face Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.
The Black and Yellows, however, are stronger than they have ever been over the past half-a-decade or so as they boast a stupendous amount of depth in their reserves. Although the defeat to Augsburg was disappointing, the club certainly has what it takes to get the better of Bayern Munich and win the Supercup this midweek.
Dortmund haven’t exactly fared well against their competitive rivals in recent memory, however, notably conceding a double in the league last season. In fact. their last victory against the Bavarians came in the Supercup last season, so it will be interesting to see whether or not they can replicate that performance on Wednesday.
And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of this mouth-watering fixture in the DFL Supercup.
Tactics & Team News
Hansi Flick has a lot of problems heading into this game, particularly due to a lack of depth in his squad. He even had to bench Robert Lewandowski to keep him fresh for this clash while other attackers, including new signing Leroy Sane, have featured in every game of this new season, although Sane picked up a slight knock in the last match.
The Bayern Munich coach has no choice but to persist with the creative duo of Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry while Sane is set to be replaced by Kingsley Coman.
In midfield, Leon Goretzka did not start against Hoffenheim and is expected to make his way back into the starting lineup. He could replace Corentin Tolisso in the double pivot, where he will be partnered by the ever-present figure of Joshua Kimmich. It is defence that could be tricky for Flick, however.
Benjamin Pavard and Manuel Neuer are guaranteed to retain their places in the starting lineup. However, Bayern have to choose between David Alaba and Jerome Boateng in the central defensive slot, while the left-back area also remains an open discussion, with both Lucas Hernandez and Alphonso Davies competing for a place.
Hernandez has played more than Davies this season, but it seems the Canadian might just get the nod ahead of his French teammate purely due to his pace, which could cause problems for the Dortmund backline. As for central defence, Alaba is a doubt due to fitness so we can expect Boateng to retain his place in the side.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Boateng, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski
Lucien Favre is not expected to make any defensive changes to his side despite conceding two needless goals against Augsburg. The defensive trifecta of Mats Hummels, Emre Can and Manuel Akanji will once again feature, especially with Lukasz Piszczek and Dan-Axel Zagadou struggling with fitness issues.
That said, the Dortmund coach is set to face a selection dilemma moving forward. The midfield, in particular, is a cause for concern as there will be questions raised regarding the credibility of new signing Jude Bellingham in such a high-profile fixture.
The youngster has started all of BVB’s games so far this season in all competitions and has done a great job as well. However, we might see Favre switching to Thomas Delaney to add that extra bit of physicality and robustness in midfield. The Dane could form the double pivot alongside the ever-present figure of Axel Witsel.
Elsewhere, Thomas Meunier and Raphael Guerreiro are guaranteed starters in the wing-back slots as Dortmund do not have any other alternatives, especially with the likes of Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz and Marcel Schmelzer all sidelined.
Finally, in attack, we may finally see Marco Reus returning to the Dortmund starting lineup for the first time in quite a while. He is expected to replace Giovanni Reyna, with Jadon Sancho assumed to be a guaranteed starter. These two will look to support Erling Haaland, in the number nine role.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Burki; Can, Hummels, Akanji; Meunier, Witsel, Delaney, Guerreiro; Sancho, Haaland, Reus
- Bayern Munich are contesting the Supercup for the 14th time. They are the record seven-time winners and six-time runners-up.
- Lewandowski is the Supercup’s five-goal leading scorer. He scored four times in six appearances for Dortmund against Bayern, and has one in three in meetings with his former club.
- Flick oversaw a 4-0 win over Dortmund on his Bundesliga debut in the Bayern Munich hot seat. He has only lost three of his 39 competitive matches at the helm (W35 D1).
- Dortmund won their sixth Supercup in 2019, ending a run of three successive Bayern Munich triumphs, thanks to a 2-0 win.
- Aged 17 years and 93 days on the night, Jude Bellingham can usurp Gianluca Gaudino as the youngest player, Julian Draxler as the youngest winner and Christian Pulisic as the youngest scorer in Supercup history.
Player to Watch
Marco Reus will, no doubt, steal the spotlight as he braces himself for a return to the starting lineup following a long injury layoff. The German international scored a goal seconds after his return to the pitch, in the DFB Pokal fixture against MSV Duisburg earlier this summer, but is yet to make a mark in the Bundesliga.
On Wednesday, he will have the opportunity to truly kickstart his campaign against Bayern Munich. Not only that, but his experience, sharpness and productivity could be critical in a game where Borussia Dortmund might not be able to create too many opportunities to score goals. So he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on, in this fixture.
Bayern Munich 0-1 Borussia Dortmund
Bayern Munich might be in for a surprise here as they haven’t historically performed well against Dortmund in the Supercup. The ongoing stress and fatigue caused by the hectic schedule does not help either and so we expect the Ruhrpott giants to seal a narrow victory this midweek.