Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich meet tomorrow evening in what is one of the most highly anticipated fixtures in the German footballing calendar, and as ever it sees both sides gunning for the title even this early on in the campaign.
Carlo Ancelotti's men perhaps unsurprisingly lead the division at this point in time, but the surprising part is that they are level on points with surprise package RB Leipzig, who sit in second place after their remarkable start to their first ever top-flight season.
Thomas Tuchel's Dortmund side are six points behind the league leaders going into the game, and they will hope to put on a show for the Yellow Wall in the hopes of halving that deficit come the final whistle.
Table topping Bavarians have suffered from uncharacteristic blip in recent weeks
Although it isn't by any means catastrophic or even poor form, Bayern's three draws from their last five Bundesliga matches against Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Koln respectively could potentially cause minor concern for fans used to winning almost every week.
The fact remains however that they are top of the table as usual, and draws against the previously mentioned three sides are not exactly dreadful results considering they lie third, sixth and seventh in the table as of today.
But with two of those coming in front of the Bayern faithful at the Allianz Arena, where you would expect Ancelotti's men to be dominant and ruthless in front of goal, fans could be forgiven for being perhaps a tad fearful going into tomorrow's match at Signal Iduna Park.
Der BVB looking to use the most lethal man in the division to their advantage
One man that could prove to be the difference between the two sides is Bundesliga top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has become a key player for Dortmund over the past couple of seasons after Robert Lewandowski left on a free to join Bayern.
With 11 goals and one assist to his name in just ten games, saying the Gabon international is in good form would be an understatement and Ancelotti will need to have a plan set in motion if he hopes to stop the lethal frontman.
Tuchel’s side have not been able to find that all important winning touch in their last five games in the Bundesliga, with their sole victory coming in a thumping 5-2 win away to rock bottom side Hamburg SV with Aubameyang netting four and creating the other.
Could this season’s Super Cup offer a glimpse of what is come tomorrow evening?
Dortmund have only lost once at home in all competitions so far this season, but crucially that game came against Bayern in this season’s DFL Super Cup.
The visitors ran out 2-0 winners on the day thanks to second half goals from Arturo Vidal and Thomas Muller, with the hosts simply unable to find the all-important finishing touch in front of goal.
This fixture last season resulted in a rare 0-0 draw between the two, with it being just the fourth scoreless draw in this fixture since 1996.
One stat that is on the side of the visitors is that they have not lost to Dortmund since 2014/15 when they were defeated on penalties in the DFB Pokal, with the last league defeat to their opponents coming back in the 2013/14 season when they lost 3-0 at the Allianz Arena thanks to goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Reus and Jonas Hofmann.
The main issue for the hosts is that key man Reus is unavailable after he suffered a heel injury that according to his manager “came out of nowhere”. Tuchel has taken the decision not to risk Reus for tomorrow’s match, while Erik Durm, Neven Subotic and Sven Bender will all not be involved due to injury problems.
Ancelotti also has a few injuries that he must contend with ahead of the game, with Kingsley Coman, Javi Martinez and Arjen Robben all injured and thus will not be involved in the squad. Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal are injury doubts and fans will have to wait until the teams are announced in order to find out if they will play any part in the game.
Borussia Dortmund (4-1-4-1): Burki; Guerreiro, Bartra, Sokratis, Piszczek; Weigl; Dembele, Castro, Gotze, Pulisic; Aubameyang.
Bayern Munich (4-3-3): Neuer; Lahm, Hummels, Boateng, Alaba; Vidal, Thiago, Alonso; Muller, Lewandowski, Ribery.