Der Klassiker: BVB vs Bayern Match Preview, Starting XI Predictions

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This weekend, regular challengers to the crown, BVB , welcome current rulers Bayern Munich to the Signal Iduna Park. In one of the most anticipated clashes in the German footballing calendar, it is once again a battle between first place and second place. It’s the Bundesliga Game of Thrones. 

With both sides in scintillating form early in the season, let’s take a look at who might take a provisional seat on the throne.

LAY OF THE LAND

The incumbent monarchs of German football, Bayern Munich, also currently hold the crown as Kings of Europe and they began their season royally. They slayed all comers at home and abroad, save for one blip against Hoffenheim. They scored the most goals, have the leading individual scorer in the land and are home to the most prolific creator of chances.

Dortmund began their season in a similar fashion.

Much like their rivals, they started on the front foot. Winning all battles they contested this season, save for one against Augsburg. With legendary knights, Marco Reus and Mat Hummels, plus young warriors Erling Haaland and Gio Reyna, their claim to the crown is not a false one.

KNIGHTS OF THE REALM

Both teams have a plethora of potential game changers in their ranks. For Bayern, it’s Robert Lewandowski leading the charge with an incredible 10 goals in only five appearances this season. Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller supplement him nicely with five goals apiece; With the latter, and Joshua Kimmich, leading the league with four assists.

The yellow and blacks are no slouches when it comes to talent either.

They amassed a Kings ransom of talented youngsters who are the envy of rival kingdoms across the continent and beyond.

Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland is the pick of the bunch. The mere fact that his return of five goals in five appearances is considered low by his standards, and that speaks volumes with regard to his standing in the game.

English youngster Jadon Sancho has been somewhat usurped by American teenager Gio Reyna this season. The new Prince has been tremendous so far this season — racking up assists as well as getting on the scoresheet.

ALL THE KING’S HORSES

Bayern will be without defensive colossus Niklas Sule, who was struck down with COVID. Alphonse Davies remains on the long-term injury list as an ankle injury hampering the Canadian speedster’s fitness.

Leon Goretzka is fit for selection, but I see him starting on the bench. Leroy Sane should expect a seat on the pine as well.

So far this season, he proved somewhat underwhelming and didn’t do enough to justify selection in this monumental battle in my opinion.

That said, this is how I see them lining up:

Dortmund amassed quite the injury list too. Emre Can remains a doubt after his COVID diagnosis at the back end of October. Mat Hummels and Axel Witsel are subject to fitness tests before the game, but all signs point to the veterans starting this one. Zagadou’s knee injury will see him missing from the team for the foreseeable future.

I’ve gone for Gio Reyna to start his first Klassiker over Jadon Sancho. The American sensation has seemed a bit more effective in the Bundesliga this season. 

With that in mind, I’m expecting Dortmund to line up like this:

WHO WILL REIGN SUPREME?

In terms of a prediction, I can’t go past Bayern for this one. Hansi Flick won all three of his duels against Dortmund. The yellow and blacks failed to score in either of their Bundesliga clashes against his Munich sides. I do expect this goal drought to end, however.

Haaland will be desperate to get a goal in this one. But with Europe’s most deadly striker in their ranks, Robert Lewandowski,  goals won’t be a problem for Die Roten either. In this game of thrones, I’m going for a 3-1 victory to the current Kings of the continent, Bayern Munich.

bayern munich

Stuart Kavanagh is an up and coming journalist from Melbourne, Australia. A student of sports media, his passion for the world game, in particular, shines through. Always keen to discuss footballing matters, you can follow him on Twitter @futbolislife8

 

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