One of the Bundesliga’s most anticipated matches of the season sees these two German heavyweights go head to head in Der Klassike.
Currently the two best sides in the country, this top of the table clash may prove to be a catalyst for Dortmund as they look to rediscover their early season form.
Under Peter Bosz, the hosts began the season in spectacular fashion and were undefeated after seven rounds. However, a recent dip in form has seen the Black and Yellows collect just one point from their last three Bundesliga outings.
Unlike their rivals, Bayern had an uncharacteristically slow start to their campaign as they were defeated by Hoffenheim on the opening day while they also experienced back to back draws against Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg.
The Bavarian outfit’s poor start to the season ultimately led to the dismissal of head coach, Carlo Ancelotti and the reinstatement of fan favourite and former Bayern coach, Jupp Heynckes.
Since Heynckes arrival they have experienced an upturn in form and they arrive at Signal Iduna Park with plenty of confidence as they look to increase their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table.
Key Battle – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Robert Lewandowski
Former Dortmund teammates, the pair set the Bundesliga alight with their dazzling performances for the Black and Yellow. However, since Lewandowski’s departure to rivals Bayern, the two strikers have gone from teammates to fierce competitors.
Aubameyang pipped Lewandowski to the Golden Boot last year, scoring 31 goals in the process, one more than his former teammate.
The pair head into this encounter with 10 goals to their names and depending on who scores this weekend, there could be an outright leader in the race for the Golden Boot.
Dortmund will have to do without defender, Dan-Axel Zagadou. The 18-year-old scored his first goal for BVB in their Bundesliga affair with Hannover 96 before being given his marching orders after denying the opposition a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Borussia Dortmund Expected XI (4-3-3): Bürki (GK); Bartra, Papastathopoulos, Toprak, Schmelzer; Weigl, Kagawa, Götze, Pulisic; Philipp, Aubameyang.
In a welcome boost for the league leaders, Bayern’s leading marksman Lewandowski returns to the fold following his short-term injury lay-off.
Bayern defender Mats Hummels may be a late omission from the squad as he looks to overcome a knock sustained from their midweek Champions League encounter with Celtic.
Bayern Munich Expected XI (4-2-3-1): Ulreich (GK); Rafinha, Süle, Boateng, Alaba; Vidal, Martinez; Robben, James, Coman; Lewandowski.
These two sides met earlier in the season in the Super Cup final where Bayern defeated Dortmund in penalties following a 2-2 draw.
Bayern coach, Jupp Heynckes will have fond memories of the last time he faced Dortmund. The German heavyweights met in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley Stadium where Heynckes’ side triumphed 2-1 over their bitter rivals.
With the pressure mounting on Dortmund boss Peter Bosz, the hosts need to come away with at least a point from this fixture if they want to keep pace with the Bavarian outfit.
Since the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern’s performances have vastly improved and they travel to Signal Iduna Park on the back of three straight league wins.
The hosts do not have the best defensive record and that may prove costly as they look to contain Bayern’s star-studded lineup.
Ultimately, Bayern should overcome a down on luck Dortmund.
Borussia Dortmund 1 Bayern Munich 3