BIG GAME PREVIEW: Eyes on prize as Bayern, Dortmund renew hostilities in Der Klassiker
The upcoming Bayern vs Dortmund match marks the 19th time these two teams have faced each other while occupying the top two spots in the Bundesliga table. However, it is only the fifth time that Dortmund leads Bayern on the occasion.
Bayern has had the upper hand over Dortmund in recent years. However, BVB can take confidence from their 2-2 home draw with the reigning champions earlier this season, which ended a sequence of seven successive Bundesliga defeats to Bayern Munich.
The Allianz Arena hasn’t been a pleasant venue for Dortmund in recent memory, with Bayern winning their last eight successive home games in league competition against them while averaging more than four goals per game on average.
The Bundesliga title race impact makes this the most exciting ‘Klassiker’ in quite some time. Bayern, to add further intrigue to the game, decided to part ways with manager Julian Nagelsmann during the international break and replaced him with former Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel took charge of Borussia Dortmund from 2015-2017, where he averaged 2.09 points per game in the Bundesliga, which is a club record by a head coach in the competition.
Earlier this season, Borussia Dortmund ended a seven-match losing streak against Bayern Munich by drawing 2-2 at Signal Iduna Park.
Despite going 2-0 down after goals from Leon Goretzka and Leroy Sane, Dortmund showed resilience and fought back to earn a valuable point. Anthony Modeste played a crucial role in the comeback, assisting Youssoufa Moukoko for the first goal before scoring the equalizer in added time.
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It was Modeste’s last goal involvement in the Bundesliga to date. Bayern’s Kingsley Coman was sent off in the dying minutes of the game, adding to their frustration. Although Bayern had more possession, it was Dortmund who posed the greater attacking threat, registering more shots and a higher expected goals total.
Bayern will be eager to bounce back and continue their dominance over Dortmund, while BVB will be hoping to build on their strong performance in the previous encounter.
Bayern Munich’s 2023 Bundesliga campaign has been their weakest in 11 years, with just five wins in their 10 matches so far.
They have conceded 14 goals in their last 10 league games and lost their final match under coach Julian Nagelsmann 2-1 away at Bayer Leverkusen, conceding twice from penalties for the first time in 30 years. However, Bayern have an unbeaten record in 19 Bundesliga matches at home and will hope to maintain that against Borussia Dortmund, who have won 28 of a possible 30 points this year and are currently top of the table.
Despite a recent loss to Chelsea in the Champions League and a draw with rivals Schalke 04, Dortmund dominated with a 6-1 win over Köln, their first six-goal Bundesliga win under coach Edin Terzic.
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
New Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel should rely on the experience of Thomas Müller, who has been in good form for the Bavarians this season. With wonderkid Jamal Musiala doubtful due to injury, Müller’s creativity will be key.
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The veteran midfielder leads all Bundesliga players on a per 90 basis for big chances created, open play expected assists and assists this season.
Müller has regularly haunted Borussia Dortmund, with his six goals and nine assists the most goal involvements of any current Bundesliga player against BVB in league competition. He is also well-rested and has had more time to get to know his new manager.
Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)
Left-back Raphael Guerreiro is known for his attacking prowess but can be sluggish in defense. However, he has been in top form in the Bundesliga, directly involved in nine goals (two goals, seven assists) in the second half of the season, with 3.2 open-play chances created per 90 minutes.
In 2023, no other player in the top five European leagues has as many assists as the Dortmund star (seven). In the last two league matches, Guerreiro has been deployed in central midfield, scoring and assisting in each game (two goals, three assists).
He had played in this position previously during his first season with Dortmund under Tuchel.
Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer, Lucas Hernandez, Jamal Musiala
Borussia Dortmund: Karim Adeyemi, Julian Brandt, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens
According to the Opta supercomputer, Bayern Munich are the clear favorites to win the upcoming Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund, with Thomas Tuchel’s side given only a 13.9% chance of winning.
The supercomputer predicts that Bayern’s strong home form will be the deciding factor. Despite Dortmund’s impressive performance in 2023, the supercomputer gives them a low chance of victory.
OTHERS: Both teams score, Over 2.5 goals