The latest instalment of Der Klassiker takes place on Saturday afternoon as Bayern Munich host Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.
Hansi Flick’s Bayern have had a rocky time domestically since their Club World Cup triumph, picking up just four points out of a possible nine in the Bundesliga – allowing RB Leipzig to close their lead at the top of the table to just two points.
However, after a 3-3 draw with Arminia Bielefeld and a 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, the Bavarians looked near back their best as they brushed past Lazio in the Champions League and FC Koln in the Bundesliga with 4-1 and 5-1 victories.
The visitors have endured that sort of rocky form all campaign. Dortmund are outside of the top four as it stands, and even though Lucien Favre has been replaced with Edin Terzic, inconsistent displays at the back remain. That said, BVB have been far better recently, winning their last four in all competitions – scoring eight and conceding none.
Here’s 90min’s preview of the game.
When is it? Saturday 6 March
What time is it? 17:30 (GMT)
Where is it played? Allianz Arena
TV channel? BT Sport 2 (UK)
Hansi Flick has a fuller squad to choose from than in recent weeks, though Corentin Tolisso and Douglas Costa remain unavailable. Benjamin Pavard has returned to training, but Niklas Sule is expected to continue at right back, given his brilliant form.
Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller both made the bench against Koln in their last outing but could return to the side, most likely replacing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and young Jamal Musiala.
Things are not as rosy for BVB boss Edin Terzic. He will have to make do without Manuel Akanji, Axel Witsel and Marcel Schmelzer for the trip to Munich, while there are doubts over Raphael Guerreiro and Jadon Sancho – both of whom required treatment with ice packs after coming off against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Giovanni Reyna is also doubtful with a knock, but there is good news in the striking department – Erling Haaland remains 100% fit and ready to unleash on the Bundesliga champions.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Sule, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski
Borussia Dortmund: Hitz; Morey, Can, Hummels, Schulz; Delaney, Dahoud; Hazard, Brandt, Reus; Haaland
Bayern Munich 5-1 FC Koln – Bundesliga (27/02)
Lazio 1-4 Bayern Munich – Champions League (23/02)
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Bayern Munich – Bundesliga (20/02)
Bayern Munich 3-3 Arminia Bielefeld – Bundesliga (15/02)
Bayern Munich 1-0 Tigres – Club World Cup (11/02)
Borussia Monchengladbach 0-1 Borussia Dortmund – Bundesliga (02/03)
Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Arminia Bielefeld – Bundesliga (27/02)
Schalke 0-4 Borussia Dortmund – Bundesliga (20/02)
Sevilla 2-3 Borussia Dortmund – Champions League (17/02)
Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Hoffenheim – Bundesliga (13/02)
Bayern have an incredible record against Dortmund at the Allianz Arena, and it’s tough to see how Terzic’s men can break the trend. Despite some dodgy defensive performances of late, Bayern have shown that they know how to turn the screw and find the clinical edge to their game when they need it most.
BVB are in very good form, and should feel confident because of that. But the potential absence of
Sancho and Guerreiro takes a sizeable chunk out of their attacking threat, and Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard will really need to up their game to ably support Haaland.
A staggering array of talent in forward areas, however, make Bayern the most likely to come away with a much needed three points, and don’t be surprised if Robert Lewandowski adds to his 28 Bundesliga strikes.