Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern München – Saturday, November 4, 17:30BT/20:30CET – SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, Dortmund, Germany.
Der Klassiker between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München will see its latest instalment on Saturday at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK. The match between the two big hitters of German football comes at a moment in which both teams are trying to determine what direction the rest of the season will take.
Borussia Dortmund had a furious start to the first eight games of the Bundesliga season, but have struggled in the UEFA Champions League where the Yellow and Blacks have picked up just two points in four matches. Furthermore, in the Bundesliga Dortmund have now lost two games in a row losing to RB Leipzig at home on matchday 8, drawing Eintracht Frankfurt on matchday 9 and then losing to Hannover 96 on matchday 10.
It is a dangerous loss of form Borussia Dortmund have undergone in the last four weeks leading to the suggestion that the tactics implemented by new head coach Peter Bosz have been decoded. Bosz has always been adamant that his new system will take time and that some poor performances will be part of the learning curve. Nonetheless, the fan base in Dortmund, and around the world, has become restless and there are already quite a few who have called for Bosz’s head.
Bosz’s system indeed is not without risk and his high pressing system will take time for his players to adjust too. At the moment it appears that the playing staff is somewhat insecure on how to tackle the system and also lacks the aggressiveness required to be successful in the 4-3-3 system played by Bosz. The feeling is that only good performances could solve the problem in the short-term and at first glance, Saturday’s opponent Bayern München will be challenging Dortmund at just the wrong time.
Bayern have made the switch from Caro Ancelotti to Jupp Heynckes ahead of Dortmund going into crisis mode. As a result, Heynckes managed to make up eight points to Bayern’s closest rival in just three matchdays. Many Bayern fans, therefore, feel that the Bavarians might have turned a corner, but in truth, Bayern have not faced a full challenge yet.
Under Heynckes Bayern defeated Freiburg, Celtic, Hamburg, Leipzig twice, and Celtic again. Of those sides, only Leipzig could be categorised a real challenge, die Roten Bullen, however, lost players to red cards in both matches and were therefore not truly able to exploit all of Bayern’s weaknesses. Dortmund at this point will thus provide the first real test for Bayern coached by Heynckes. Given the amount of energy the Bavarians have wasted in the encounters with Celtic and Leipzig and the long list of injuries in the squad, Dortmund could take it at home at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK—at the same time though this is a fifty-fifty match that could go either way.
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern München – Player to look out for:
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang #17 – Borussia Dortmund
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a ghost during Dortmund’s winless streak. The striker has already scored ten goals this season but has been without a goal for over 200 minutes. The Dortmund fans, in fact, have already starting to count the minutes Aubameyang has been without a goal, which is usually not a good sign for a striker. Some media outlets have tried to pinpoint Aubameyang’s problems in recent weeks, and some have suggested that it could be the absence of Ousmane Dembélé. But Aubameyang managed to score plenty of goals without Dembélé, which suggests that the striker could be carrying a knock. Without him in top form, however, Dortmund cannot play their high pressing game making it difficult for Bosz to get the best out of his tactics. The only thing that helps Aubameyang at this point are goals possibly against Bayern on Saturday.
Javi Martínez #8 – Bayern München
Plagued by injuries in the last few seasons Javi Martínez has quickly become the key player in Jupp Heynckes’ system. Heynckes has moved Martínez from centre back to defensive midfield with great effect. It was as a double pivot, together with Bastian Schweinsteiger, that Martínez became one of the key players in Bayern’s 2013 treble season. Under Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti Martínez was viewed as a centre back and while the Spaniard is a good player his physical presence is more effective in midfield. Playing further up front also allows Martínez to get involved in attacking plays and as his game-winner against Celtic showed Martínez is not just a destroyer, but also an excellent target man.
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern München – Match Stats
- The constellation of Bayern first and Dortmund second ahead of a Klassiker in Dortmund has only occurred on two occasions—during the 1995/96 and 2013/14 seasons.
- In 1995 Dortmund beat Bayern 3-1 as the team in second place, and in 2013 Bayern defeated Dortmund 3-0.
- Gonzalo Castro could become the only player to have played at least ten games a season in the last 14 years.
- Dortmund’s record at home against Bayern is: W15 D19 L14
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern München – 2:1
Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern München – Possible Lineups
Bürki – Bartra, Sokratis, Toprak, Schmelzer – Castro, Weigl, Götze – Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Philipp
Coach: Peter Bosz
Ulreich – Rafinha, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Javi Martínez, Rudy – Robben, Thiago, Coman – Lewandowski
Coach: Jupp Heynckes
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.