We have a clash of the heavyweights this Saturday with Dortmund taking on Bayern.
Another interesting installment of Der Klassiker awaits us in the Bundesliga this weekend, as Bavarian giants Bayern Munich take an unbeaten record to Signal Induna Park. Thomas Tuchel’s new reign as Dortmund coach has been serene in Europe, but a bit Jekyll and Hyde domestically.
In their last match, however, they managed to unleash a bit and hammered Hamburg 5-2. Talismanic striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored four and just further heightened the growing speculation that he could be a possible replacement for Sergio Aguero at City. Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich are coming off a disappointing home draw with Hoffenheim and will be raring to pull away from surprise package Leipzig.
Dortmund v Bayern | Saturday 19 November | Westfalenstadium | 19:30
To Win (90 Mins)
Dortmund 5/2 | Draw 51/20 | Bayern Munich 21/20
Dortmund will likely stick to their typical 3-4-2-1 formation this week. They like to play a fluid, dynamic system that changes according to the match situation. They have some injury worries, chief of which is that of influential playmaker Marco Reus. He will be missed in the way that he links with the maverick presence of Aubameyang.
One thing that can be guaranteed from a Dortmund side is that there will be no fear going into this game. Klopp’s fearlessness has left a legacy that is hard-wired in the ethos of the club. Rising American talent Pulisec will look to take more responsibility giving the absence of Reus.
Ginter, Bartra and Papastathopoulos are going to have to weary of a red-hot Lewandowski this week. There is some speculation that Vidal may be carrying a knock, so if the combative midfield doesn’t play or plays at 75 percent, expect Dortmund to capitalize on that lack of authority in the middle of the park.
Rode and company will need to keep pace with a Munich side that is exceptionally athletic through the middle. Alaba and co are difficult to pick up when running from slightly deeper areas of the pitch.
Ancelotti was vocal in his displeasure at the way Vidal was treated by Chile, similar in fact to Wenger’s fury over Sanchez’s participation in qualifying. Much will depend on the presence of the player who dovetails perfectly with the more visionary Alonso.
Arjen Robben also limped off against Luxembourg, but the Dutch winger is said to be fine and should be challenging for a starting berth with Douglas Costa. Philipp Lahm has hinted that he may enter retirement at the end of the season - a year prematurely - in order to accept a directorial role at the club.
Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Poland in the Euro qualifiers and is just generally in ridiculously good form for club and country. He will likely be supported by Muller and Robben in wider areas, while returning Dortmund legend Mats Hummels will enjoy an emotional return to the remarkable atmosphere of the Signal Induna Park.
Javier Martinez and Franck Ribery remain long term absentees from the Bayern ranks. I think that this is going to be a breathless match that could be hugely impacted by fitness issues in the Bayern camp.
Verdict: Dortmund Win (5/2)
I think that this is likely to be a goal-fest, especially giving the pyrotechnics of the last Dortmund victory. But I think that Dortmund will manage to pull a result out here.
There are some lingering doubts over the full fitness of several key Munich players, and Dortmund need to close that gap that currently sits at 6 points. Let’s be honest, they are the only feasible challenges to Munich domination and I think that Tuchel will find a way to galvanize his men here.
Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets