In the biggest European this fixture, Borussia Dortmund will host Bayern Munich at home at the Signal Iduna Park in the latest round of Der Klassiker on Saturday, 8th October. Both the German rivals are heading into this hotly contested match level on 15 points after eight rounds of matches. Bayern, however, are just above Dortmund in the table on the account of superior goal difference.
Although Borussia Dortmund have lost two of their last three matches in the league, Dortmund will not be short on confidence heading into the Der Klassiker against Bayern Munich. Their recent form has also been quite impressive, given that they annihilated Sevilla 4-1 away from home in the Champions League during the midweek round of fixture.
England sensation Jude Bellingham continues to wow and mesmerise the world with his fantastic performances and he led Dortmund in Seville last week. To add more glory to his night, the 19-year-old also became the first ever teenager to score in three successive Champions League matches.
He was joined on the scoresheet by Raphael Guerreiro, Karim Adeyemi, and Julian Brandt as Dortmund raced to a 4-1 victory at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The splendid goal-fest in the Champions League will boost the motivation of Edin Terzic’s side, especially after their disappointing 3-2 loss to FC Koln away from home last weekend in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund were missing several of their key players due to injury ahead of their trip to Cologne. With that being said, however, the fact that they went into the half-time break with the lead following Brandt’s goal and yet, ended up losing the contest, ought to have left them pretty disappointed and empty handed.
That loss prevented the Black and Yellow side from moving ahead of their fourth spot in the league table and more unfortunately, it allowed Bayern Munich to get ahead of them in the Bundesliga table. While both sides are level on 15 points, Bayern are third compared to Dortmund’s fourth place courtesy of their better +17 goal difference. Dortmund, meanwhile, have a goal difference of +1.
Still, had Terzic been offered the option of sitting level on points with the Bavarians at this stage of the season – as well as gaining six points from a possible nine to open up a five-point gap in second place in Group G of the UEFA Champions League – then the 39-year-old may well have taken it without asking any further questions.
Given the fact that Bayern Munich have also had their fair share of struggles in front of goal this season, Dortmund will be well aware that this represents their best opportunity of knocking them when they’re down and securing a potentially important result in the title race. It’s about time that Dortmund delivers in front of their loyal and passionate supporters at the Signal Iduna Park and prove that they’re capable of challenging on the domestic front.
Bayern Munich, meanwhile, finally returned to winning ways in the Bundesliga on Friday night after posting three consecutive draws and a loss. They thumped four goals past an underwhelming Bayer Leverkusen side without conceding any. Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Sadio Mane and Thomas Muller grabbed a goal for themselves in order to shun critics of Bayern’s lack of attacking firepower.
Julian Nagelsmann’s team followed that up with another resounding and relatively straightforward 5-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League this week. After three matches, they have a 100% record in Europe’s premier continental competition so far this season and have moved six points clear of third-placed Barcelona in Group C.
Nagelsmann will be well aware of the fact that after the clash with Barcelona, the trip to Dortmund could well prove to be Bayern’s most difficult assignment of the season thus far. It could also potentially provide a more accurate measure of whether they have put their remarkable run of four winless league games prior to the international break behind them.
In a massive setback, Bayern will have two of their leading players in Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich unavailable after the German pair tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Their absence is expected to push their squad depth to the limit, especially at the centre of the park, where they are short of numbers compared to most of Europe’s elite teams.
Still, with the likes of Sane and Mane in excellent goalscoring form of late, there is little doubt that Nagelsmann’s side have the capabilities to demolish any opponent on their day, and they may well view Der Klassiker as the perfect match to get their season truly get back on track.
DOR vs FCB, Bundesliga 2022/23
Date: 8th October, 2022
Time: 10:00 PM IST
Venue: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:
Bayern Munich form (all competitions):
Borussia Dortmund wins: 33
Bayern Munich wins: 66
Borussia Dortmund Team News:
Both Marius Wolf and Mats Hummels were not a part of the squad that travelled to Seville in Spain as the pair were suffering from common cold. To ease the fears of Dortmund fans, both are likely to be available for this mega event and Hummels is set to be reinstated straight into the heart of the defence to replace former Bayern centre-half Niklas Sule who will probably miss the chance to get one over on his former side following his summer move from Munich to Dortmund.
Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel was named in the matchday squad for the first time in over a month on Wednesday after recovering from a muscle tear, and he also should be fit enough to displace Alexander Meyer between the sticks.
Mateu Morey, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Mahmoud Dahoud and club captain Marco Reus all remain sidelined through injury, however, while Sebastien Haller is unavailable for the foreseeable future due to a testicular tumour.
Both young forwards Donyell Malen and Karem Adeyemi have both played twice in the past week following their injuries prior to the international break and look set to start in attack given their abilities in transition.
Depending on which system Terzic opts for, they could be joined by Brandt in a striker-less system, with neither Anthony Modeste nor Youssoufa Moukoko hugely impressing as a consistent focal point in recent times.
Bayern Munich Team News:
As mentioned before, Bayern Munich are already dealing with the massive absences of Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller after they tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. However, it could lead to Marcel Sabitzer and Leon Goretzka lining up beside each other in central midfield for the first time this season.
Mane shifted to the left flank in order to accommodate Serge Gnabry in a more central role in midweek, and Nagelsmann could utilise a similarly fluid system on Saturday, with Jamal Musiala operating between the lines.
Lucas Hernandez, Bouna Sarr and Kingsley Coman are expected to remain unavailable due to injury, with Bayern’s back four almost picking itself
Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Meunier, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Guerreiro; Bellingham, Can, Ozcan; Adeyemi, Brandt, Malen
Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, De Ligt, Davies; Sabitzer, Goretzka; Sane, Musiala, Mane; Gnabry
A Der Klassiker is almost always entertaining and promises plenty of goals and drama. The matches in Dortmund have an extra flavour given the passion of the fans and supporters. While it’s true that the fixture has been tilted heavily in favour of Bayern in recent years, this might as well be the best opportunity for Dortmund to start clawing their way back and catch the defending German champions off-guard.
Their previous brushes with poor form aside, Bayern have looked somewhere close to returning to their best in the past week – scoring nine goals in two matches combined – and should have too much quality for their rivals
Therefore, it won’t be surprising to see them running out as winners for the umpteenth time in Der Klassiker and at the expense of Borussia Dortmund.