Borussia Dortmund are looking to pip Bayern Munich for the top spot as the two German giants go head to head this weekend.

Signal Iduna Park will play hosts to arguably the most important game in the Bundesliga this season as Borussia Dortmund take on Bayern Munich on Saturday, a match-up commonly referred to as Der Klassiker.

It is not the first time these two sides are meeting each other this season, as Bayern had beaten Dortmund 3-1 in August to seal the DFB Supercup. However, a lot has changed since, with the home side emerging as a major title contender under the stewardship of Marco Rose.

The two sides are indeed separated by just a point, with Bayern remaining at the top of the Bundesliga table heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures. The Bavarians have not looked invincible under Julian Nagelsmann and have dropped points against fearless teams like Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Monchengladbach and FC Augsburg.

Dortmund, meanwhile, have looked flawless against lower-ranked teams. So far this season, they have dropped points only against Gladbach, Freiburg and Leipzig. Die Schwarzgelben also have an incredible hundred percent winning record at home in Bundesliga this season and are currently on a run of 11 back to back wins at the Signal Iduna Park, more than any other team in Europe’s top-five leagues.

However, with the game taking place at a time when Germany is suffering from the fourth wave of the pandemic, Dortmund’s home advantage could be nullified, to an extent. During North-Rhine Westphalia’s Ministerpräsidentenkonferenz on Thursday, it was ruled that the maximum capacity in the region will be reduced to 15,000, which is a major downgrade from the 57,900 fans that enjoyed the team’s last home against Augsburg.

It should serve as a massive boost for Bayern, who do hold an impressive record against their rivals in recent years, having won each of their last six competitive meetings. Their new coach Nagelsmann will be hoping to maintain that record and extend his team’s lead to four-point, as we head towards the final phase of the Hinrunde.

Team News & Tactics

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund were boosted by the return of Erling Haaland last weekend, though head coach Marco Rose has confirmed that the forward is not fit for ninety minutes of football. But there is positive news elsewhere, as he is confident over the involvement of Jude Bellingham and Raphael Guerreiro, while Gio Reyna may make the bench as well.

Manuel Akanji, though, remains a doubt as he has had little to no training heading into this game. His potential absence could be a major blow for Die Schwarzgelben, and the onus will be on Dan-Axel Zagadou to replace him at the heart of the four-man backline, alongside Mats Hummels.

Elsewhere in the back-four, Guerreiro should replace Nico Schulz at left-back while Thomas Meunier remains a guaranteed starter on the opposite flank. The two are expected to offer width going forward, although it will be equally important for them to aid the centre-backs and Gregor Kobel in goal.

Rose will be given a major selection dilemma in midfield. With doubts over the involvement of Bellingham, it appears Mahmoud Dahoud could once again be set for a start. Emre Can is also expected to get the nod ahead of Axel Witsel, having scored in the last game. The German international offers much more dynamism and speed in the middle of the park and will hope to form a solid double-pivot alongside Dahoud.

Moving forward, Julian Brandt is likely to retain his place in the side owing to his excellent form throughout the past four weeks or so. His creativity and combination play alongside Marco Reus make them the creator-in-chiefs for the Dortmund side, as they look to act as auxiliary number tens, in behind the main striker Erling Haaland.

Despite not being hundred percent, many expect the Norwegian to spearhead the Dortmund frontline. His physical prowess and ability to run in behind the backline could make life difficult for the Bayern Munich defenders. But this time around, he will be aided by the in-form version of Donyell Malen, thus completing the power-packed BVB attack.

Probable Lineup (4-1-3-2): Kobel; Meunier, Hummels, Zagadou, Guerreiro; Can; Dahoud, Reus, Brandt; Haaland, Malen

homecrowd-formation-OWLOM06AqE2uo4wLY0ID

Bayern Munich

The tables have turned hugely between Bayern and Dortmund over the past couple of weeks or so. It is now Bayern that are suffering from an injury crisis, with Josip Stanisic, Bouna Sarr, Marcel Sabitzer and most recently, Gabriel Vidovic ruled out due to injury. Joshua Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are yet to return from quarantine, thus ruling them out of the Dortmund contest.

In addition to that, star midfielder Leon Goretzka remains a major doubt due to his fitness woes, with coach Julian Nagelsmann confirming that he has tested out potential alternatives for the German international in training. The most likely solution is a double-pivot involving Corentin Tolisso and Jamal Musiala, who has done very well in training.

Marc Roca is an alternative, should Nagelsmann opt for a more defence-minded approach. Speaking of which, the former Hoffenheim coach could potentially leave Benjamin Pavard out of the starting eleven in light of poor form this season. Niklas Sule is expected to occupy his position at right-back.

The German offers more physicality that could be useful in dealing with Haaland and offer additional support for Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano, who often struggles against the Norwegian. As for Alphonso Davies, he will be tasked with the responsibility of offering offensive support with his marauding runs forward.

The Canadian international’s presence on the left flank, along with Leroy Sane, could make life difficult for Meunier, who often looks vulnerable at the back. Kingsley Coman will be hoping to apply similar pressure to Guerreiro on the opposite while Thomas Muller is expected to continue as the Ramdeuter, just behind the main striker Robert Lewandowski.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Sule, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies; Musiala, Tolisso; Coman, Muller, Sane; Lewandowski

homecrowd-formation-SpCbIqg0f6MLnOBUbWlj

Key Stats

  • Erling Haaland is averaging a goal every 56 minutes in this season’s Bundesliga. He has scored times five in as many meetings with Bayern Munich in all competitions.
  • Marco Reus has scored or assisted in nine of his 12 Bundesliga appearances in 2021/22, and in eight of his last nine.
  • The Dortmund captain was on target the last time BVB beat Bayern in the Bundesliga (3-2 on Matchday 11 of the 2018/19 campaign).
  • Bayern Munich have since won five Bundesliga Klassikers in a row and have only lost two of the last ten. Overall, they lead with 51 Bundesliga wins to BVB’s 26.
  • Julian Nagelsmann has won just two of his 13 matches against Dortmund as a head coach, drawing four and losing seven.

Player to Watch

Robert Lewandowski

This weekend’s tussle between Bayern and Dortmund will largely revolve around two world-class strikers in Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland. However, the focus will be on Lewandowski and how he responds after being snubbed at the Ballon d’Or ceremony earlier in the week, finishing narrowly behind Lionel Messi.

Many experts around the globe have called out France Football for the decision to award the Argentine the Ballon d’Or, ahead of Lewandowski, who has a stellar record against his former club Dortmund. Indeed, the Polish hitman is the top scorer in the fixture with 25 goals. Twenty of those have come across 14 league meetings against former club Dortmund, including 16 in his last 10.

Bayern coach Nagelsmann has already suggested that whoever manages to stop the two main strikers better have a bigger chance of winning this game. So the onus will be on Borussia Dortmund to keep tabs on Lewandowski, who will be out for blood after facing disappointment earlier in the week.

Prediction

Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Bayern Munich

Borussia Dortmund have often been outplayed by Bayern Munich in their recent meetings. It appears the Black and Yellows simply lack the temperament and the composure to hold their own and play well under pressure, allowing the Bavarians to register big wins time and time again.

It has proven to be a problem for Dortmund under Marco Rose as well, with the team falling to defeats against big games against the likes of Ajax, RB Leipzig and even Sporting CP this season. Hence, we could expect yet another massacre at the Signal Iduna Park, with Bayern likely to come out with all three points.

One Response to “Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Pablo says:

    Dortmund 3 – 0 Bayern ✋🏽

Leave A Comment...

*