Borussia Dortmund welcome league leaders Bayern Munich to the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday night in a blockbuster edition of Der Klassiker at the top of the Bundesliga standings.
Tied on 15 points apiece from six matches, Munich enjoy a four-goal edge on their hosts Dortmund. The derby comes at an ideal time for the neutral, with margins so tight at the top end of the division. It promises to set the winners in good stead as the Bundesliga winds down into its upcoming international break.
Dortmund will miss the services of Mats Hummels, who picked up a muscle injury last week against Arminia Bielefeld. The veteran defender has netted each of BVB’s last three league goals, bagging a brace against Bielefeld and netting once in the derby victory over Schalke 04.
German international Emre Can is unavailable through illness, while fellow countryman Marcel Schmelzer is sidelined with a knee injury.
Bayern Munich’s injury list sees some of their key men miss out, with Alphonso Davies continuing to recover from an ankle injury sustained in the 5-0 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt in October. Leon Goretzka and Niklas Sule will not feature either.
Borussia Dortmund: Burki; Guerreiro, Akanji, Delaney, Meunier; Witsel, Dahoud; Hazard, Brandt, Sancho; Haaland. (4-2-3-1)
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Sarr, Boateng, Alaba, Pavard; Martinez, Kimmich; Muller; Gnabry, Lewandowski, Sane. (4-2-1-3)
Ones to watch
Although yet to get the minutes he enjoyed last season in this campaign, Thorgan Hazard’s track record places him as one of the key members of Dortmund’s attack. A stalwart on the wing, the Belgian found the net a total of seven times in the 2019/20 term, but, more crucially, chalked up 13 assists.
Since his €50m move from Manchester City over the summer, sprightly winger Leroy Sane has made just four appearances for the Bavarians, but that has not stopped him from putting on a show when he does play. With two goals and two assists already, Sane averages a contribution every game and acts as a catalyst in the transition from defence to attack.
The two sides last met in the league at Signal Iduna Park in May. Bayern edged a 1-0 win through a Joshua Kimmich wonder-strike on the stroke of halftime, but the result was tinged with controversy when Jerome Boateng appeared to block a certain goal with his arm.
Since then, the giants clashed at the Allianz Arena in September to contest the German DFL-Supercup. After running up an early two-goal lead, Bayern were pegged back for almost half an hour by an insatiable fightback from Dortmund, but, with ten minutes still to play, Kimmich again rose to the occasion to make the score 3-2 and secure the silverware for the Bavarian side.
Dortmund have failed to get the better of Bayern in the Bundesliga since November of 2018.
Where to watch on TV
Der Klassiker kicks off at 17:30 GMT on BT Sport 1 in the UK, while those in the United States can see the game on ESPN+.