Wednesday night sees the first Der Klassiker of the season as Bayern Munich take on Borussia Dortmund in the 2020 DFL-Supercup at the Allianz Arena.
Germany’s yearly cup contest pits the winner of the Bundesliga against the winner of the DFB-Pokal. However, since Munich won both last season, league runner-up Dortmund got the second spot as a result.
That sets the stage for yet another derby day, and with both teams losing this past weekend, it'll be very interesting to see how each reacts, and who will end the night with the trophy.
After being without a few key players to start the campaign, Munich are close to a completely healthy squad going into this contest.
They’ve still got some concerns, though. Leroy Sane picked up a knock this past weekend against Hoffenheim, and likely won’t start as a result. Thankfully for the Bavarians, he still should be able to feature in a limited capacity off the bench.
Defender Tanguy Nianzou is entirely unavailable, as the summer signing has yet to recover from an issue with his thigh.
Dortmund, meanwhile, are in the midst of an injury crisis.
Usual starters Thorgan Hazard and Dan-Axel Zagadou are both unavailable for selection, while the experienced defensive pairing of Marcel Schmelzer and Lukasz Piszczek are also out for the time being.
That’s not all, as wingback Nico Schulz will miss the game with a calf injury, and youngster Mateu Morey is still dealing with a thigh problem, so he won’t play either.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies, Kimmich, Muller, Goretzka, Gnabry, Lewandowski, Coman
Borussia Dortmund: Burki, Can, Hummels, Akanji, Meunier, Brandt, Witsel, Guerreiro, Sancho, Haaland, Reus
Ones to watch
Some players just love to score against their former clubs, and Robert Lewandowksi is no different.
Ever since leaving the Signal Iduna Park back in 2014, the Polish international has haunted Dortmund almost every time he’s got up against them. In 20 games versus BVB, Lewandowski has scored 18 goals, which is an incredible record. They usually come at crucial times as well, as Lewandowski would either open the scoring or grab the match winning goal.
Munich will likely need the forward to be at his very best once again. Sure, there are others in the team who can pitch in with goals, but it all starts with Lewandowski. Just look at this past weekend, as he was benched to get some rest, and the team went on to lose without him in the lineup.
Lewandowski will be back in the starting eleven against Dortmund, where he’ll look to add to his ever growing goalscoring tally while also collecting some more silverware in the process.
There’s no doubting Jadon Sancho’s quality.
One of the best wingers in all of world football, the Englishman can do it all in the final third, whether it be dribbling, passing, or shooting. Still only 20 years old as well, there’s plenty of reasons why he’s so highly touted.
However, when it comes to the biggest games of the season, Sancho sometimes disappears. Unlike Lewandowski, his record in Der Klassiker is quite poor, as he’s only got one goal and one assist against Munich. Sure, Sancho’s impact sometimes goes beyond the stat sheet, but it’s still a poor record considering his talent.
It’s a similar story in the Champions League, as the Englishman has never gotten past the round of 16, with zero goal contributions in his four knockout stage games.
There’s plenty of time for that to change, of course, as everyone knows how young Sancho still is. However, if he wants to become a consistent threat at the highest level, then he’ll need to start performing in the most important games. That could start on Wednesday night.
They’ve played twice in the Bundesliga since, but it’s been just over a year since these two sides faced off in the 2019 DFL-Supercup.
Taking place at the Signal Iduna Park, it would be Dortmund who lifted the cup on this occasion after a very strong showing.
The first half was a tight and tense affair, as both teams came close, but neither could find the back of the net.
BVB would open the scoring soon after the halftime break, though. Jadon Sancho dribbled by a few defenders before laying off a pass towards the top of the area, managing to pick out Paco Alcacer. The Spaniard made no mistake with the finish, curling a low shot into the bottom corner.
Munich thought they had equalized soon after, but Kinglsey Coman’s close range header was saved by Marwin Hitz, and Thomas Muller’s rebound effort was heroically blocked by defender Manuel Akanji.
Failing to convert those chances would eventually cost Bayern, as Dortmund put the game to bed in the 69th minute with a killer second goal. Sancho took it himself this time, flying forward on the counter before confidently slotting past Manuel Neuer.
They were deserved winners on the night, hoisting the title in front of their faithful home support.
Where to watch
In the UK, the game will be available to watch on BT Sport 1, while those in the United States can see the match on ESPN +.