Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich – Match Preview

By Louis Ostrowski

Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund and reigning champions Bayern Munich go head to head on Saturday at the in the game now known as ‘der Klassiker’.

Lucien Favre’s Dortmund sit four points above second placed Mönchengladbach and third placed Bayern and could extend their gap to seven points with a win at the Signal Iduna Park

The Black-Yellows are unbeaten in domestic football this season but suffered their first competitive defeat of the campaign on Tuesday to Atlético Madrid.

The coach though remains upbeat about their loss in Spain. “We always learn something new in every game. Win or lose,” said Favre yesterday.

His side is at almost full strength with Marcel Schmelzer the only absentee. Abdou Diallo is expected to be fit despite missing the last two fixtures with a muscle problem. Dan-Axel Zagadou would be most likely to replace him at centre-back if necessary.

Englishman Jadon Sancho is likely to start, but perhaps opposite Jacob Bruun-Larsen rather than Christian Pulisic. Sancho and Pulisic started together for the first time this season against Atlético, both failing to impress.

Bayern dropped points in the Bundesliga last weekend as they drew 1-1 with SC Freiburg. Despite that, Bayern won in midweek against AEK Athens and boss Niko Kovač is confident in his team’s chances.

“We want to reduce the gap between us and I am sure that we will hold our own tomorrow,” said Kovač in his press conference.

Notable names who did not travel are midfielders James Rodríguez, Corentin Tolisso and Thiago Alcântara, as well as wingers Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben.

With Thiago, Rodríguez and Tolisso injured, Bayern may choose Thomas Müller in midfield again after he played there on Wednesday. Joshua Kimmich also played in midfield against AEK but is likely to start at right back.

This is a crucial fixture for both sides. The last time they met with Dortmund top of the table was back in April 2012, with Dortmund winning 1-0. BVB went on to win the league that season, although their goal was scored by a certain Robert Lewandowski.

Even with Lewandowski now in red, this now feels like a truly meaningful fixture that Dortmund can win – for the first time in six years.

Predicted lineups:

Dortmund: Bürki, Piszczek, Akanji, Diallo, Hakimi, Delaney, Witsel, Reus, Sancho, Bruun-Larsen, Alcácer

Bayern: Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba, Martínez, Goretzka, Müller, Gnabry, Ribéry, Lewandowski

Edited by Harry Trend

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