Bayern Munich will be gunning to clinch a tenth consecutive Bundesliga title when they take on Borussia Dortmund in the revered Der Klassiker.

Bayern Munich will have the opportunity to secure their tenth consecutive Bundesliga title in style, when they lock horns with rivals Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena this Saturday.

Beating their rivals at home to celebrate a record-breaking tenth consecutive Bundesliga crown could be an ideal way to cap off an otherwise disappointing campaign.

Bayern Munich have indeed lacked their usual authority and strength during Julian Nagelsmann’s first season in charge. There has been a hint of inconsistency, while injuries played their part as well. It has resulted in shocking eliminations from the DFB Pokal and the UEFA Champions League, with the Bundesliga remaining the only source of silverware for the German Rekordmeister.

As for their opponents this weekend, it has been an equally disappointing campaign. Borussia Dortmund were knocked out of the DFB Pokal cheaply while being eliminated from the Champions League group stage and the first knockout round of the UEFA Europa League.

While the Black and Yellows’ tally of 63 points is quite impressive given the injuries suffered, they could have had a legitimate chance of winning the Bundesliga title if they had been a little more consistent in their performances.

Nevertheless, the Ruhrpott giants will have the opportunity to act as spoilsport for Bayern Munich, with Marco Rose eyeing his first victory against the Bavarians in Dortmund colours, after narrowly losing out 3-2 in the reverse fixture.

Team News & Tactics

Bayern Munich

Julian Nagelsmann won’t have to deal with too many absentees heading into this game, with Omar Richards and Corentin Tolisso being the only players ruled out for this encounter. In fact, Bayern Munich may welcome the return of Niklas Sule after a brief spell on the sidelines.

While the German international is unlikely to start ahead of Dayot Upamecano or Lucas Hernandez, he could be given a run-in against his upcoming club, Borussia Dortmund. Elsewhere in the Bayern backline, Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies remain likely to occupy the full-back slots, with the latter hoping to maintain the high level of performance he showed against Arminia Bielefeld.

Nagelsmann is likely to return to a 4-2-3-1, which means Joshua Kimmich could get to partner Leon Goretzka in the double-pivot. Their synergy and combination play could be integral in helping Bayern Munich dominate possession and stay on top of their opponents at the Allianz Arena this weekend.

Moving forward, Jamal Musiala is always an option in the creative department. The youngster could be given the preference ahead of Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman. The same applies to Serge Gnabry as well, following an excellent performance against Arminia Bielefeld in the last game.

Gnabry and Musiala should form the creative trifecta for Bayern Munich, alongside Thomas Muller, as they look to offer the creative support for Robert Lewandowski ufpront.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Muller, Musiala; Lewandowski

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Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund are missing a slew of first-team stars heading into this weekend’s Der Klassiker, with Gregor Kobel becoming the latest player to pick up an injury. The Swiss international is joined by Axel Witsel, Mats Hummels, Thorgan Hazard, Giovanni Reyna, Mahmoud Dahoud, Thomas Meunier, Mateu Morey and Donyell Malen in the club’s list of absentees.

Due to the wave of injuries, youth players Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Lion Semic and Tom Rothe will once again remain part of the squad against Bayern Munich, with Rothe notably scoring on debut in the win over VfL Wolfsburg last weekend.

Rothe’s presence in the starting eleven remains an open question, though. The youngster did impress against Wolfsburg, but coach Marco Rose might want to recall Raphael Guerreiro back into the starting eleven. The Portuguese international can be much more effective in the wing-back role, due to his attacking and creative prowess.

Witsel and Dahoud’s absences have created a major selection dilemma for Rose in defence. With Can likely to operate in midfield alongside Jude Bellingham, the BVB head coach might be forced to play Marin Pongracic at the heart of the Borussia Dortmund defence, alongside usual starters Manuel Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou.

In the attack, Erling Haaland should spearhead the line, with creative assistance from Marco Reus and Julian Brandt. Guerreiro and Marius Wolf could play a vital role in providing the creative essence as well, whereas coach Rose can deploy Reinier Jesus or Youssoufa Moukoko as potential alternatives in the second half.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Hitz; Akanji, Pongracic, Zagadou; Wolf, Can, Bellingham, Guerreiro; Reus, Brandt; Haaland

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Key Stats

  • Robert Lewandowski has scored 22 goals in 15 Bundesliga meetings with former club Borussia Dortmund, hitting eight multiples and only failing to fire in three.
  • Bayern Munich have won the last six Bundesliga Klassikers in a row and have not lost at home to Borussia Dortmund since 12 April 2014.
  • Julian Nagelsmann won his first major trophy as a head coach when Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in this season’s Supercup.
  • Erling Haaland has scored five times across his six competitive games against Bayern Munich as a Borussia Dortmund player, losing each one.
  • Marco Reus has played in 20 Klassikers (W4, D4, L11). He sits third in the BVB rankings for most Bundesliga goals against Bayern Munich (five), behind only Manfred Burgsmuller (seven) and Lothar Emmerich (eight).

Player to Watch

Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski to leave Bayern Munich? (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Lewandowski has an exceptional record against Borussia Dortmund. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Robert Lewandowski is the undisputed main man in this revered Der Klassiker. The Polish hitman has dominated the fixture over the years, having scored as many as 22 goals in 15 Bundesliga games against his former club. He has been the difference maker more often than not, and there should no exception this time out.

However, the upcoming Der Klassiker might be the last one for Lewandowski amid speculation over his future at the club. While the Polish international could well end up remaining in Bavaria at the end of the season, he will be desperate to cap off this season with a solid performance against Borussia Dortmund.

Lewandowski, after all, is going through a rough patch given his lofty standards. He has netted in only three of his last seven league matches, so the onus will be on the veteran to make his presence felt this weekend.

Prediction

Bayern Munich 3-2 Borussia Dortmund

A match-up between two of the most successful sides in the Bundesliga never tends to disappoint, as both teams often look to put their attacking class on display. There should be no exception this weekend, with Erling Haaland and Marco Reus will go head to head with Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, in what could be a very entertaining affair at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munuch hold the advantage given Borussia Dortmund’s injury crisis and could potentially tear apart the opposition’s makeshift defence. At the same time, though, it won’t be surprising to see Haaland dominating Dayot Upamecano once again, though it might not be enough to seal a victory for the visitors.

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