Dortmund vs Bayern Munich: Stage set for first Klassiker - FCNaija

German Bundesliga By: Ayodeji Tunde | 04/11/2017

Football fans have a loaded weekend before them as interesting match-ups are billed to go down in the top leagues across Europe.

One of the highly-anticipated clashes will be happening in Germany as the stage is set for this season's first Bundesliga instalment of the Klassiker as Bayern Munich travel to Borussia Dortmund. 

A month ago, just after Carlo Ancelotti was fired, Bayern trailed first-place Dortmund in the Bundesliga table by 5 points. Since then, now first-place Bayern have won five games in a row and lead a stagnating Dortmund by 3 points.

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This Saturday Bayern will attempt to expand that lead to 6 points and conversely, Dortmund will hope they can catch up with a home win.

It is definitely not the best of times for Dortmund who had a scintillating start to the season but they have won just one of their past five matches - a 5:0 shellacking of FC Magdeburg in the DFB Pokal.

The other games? Losses to RB Leipzig and Hannover 96, a draw with Eintracht Frankfurt, and two humiliating draws against Champions League lightweight APOEL Nicosia, bringing Dortmund’s Champions League aspirations to a premature end.

Team News

Dortmund coach Peter Bosz named a strong team against Apoel Nicosia on Wednesday and is expected to name as similar XI against rivals Bayern. Star man Marco Reus is still absent due to injury, while right-back Lukasz Piszczek, Sebastian Rode and Erik Durm are also on the sidelines. 

Juup Heynckes will not be able to call upon experienced French winger Franck Ribery who remains absent with a knee injury. Manuel Neuer is still on the treatment table with a foot injury so Sven Ulreich continues between the posts, and versatile squad player Juan Bernat is also unavailable.

Thomas Muller took part in full training on Thursday as he steps up his comeback from a hamstring injury, so could feature at the Signal Iduna Park. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - who has ten goals, together with Lewandowski, should lead the Dortmund attack with Christian Pulisic and Maximilian Philipp

Managers' quotes 

Dortmund coach Peter Bosz:

We will certainly not park the bus against Bayern.

That's not our style of play. You can play attractive and win trophies. It's my goal to thrill our fans with beautiful football, but that doesn't rule out trophies.

I think Pep Guardiola is a good example. He always plays attractive football and also wins trophies. But still, his teams defend high up the pitch. When I saw how his Bayern played, I was thrilled.

Bayern coach Juup Heynckes:

First of all, Peter Bosz was a good footballer and when you become a coach at Ajax you have to bring a lot of know-how and he certainly has.

I think everyone needs some time to bring in their philosophy.

Dortmund will be much more concentrated and attentive, their own fans forgive their own players against Bayern. We have seen them play and will prepare according to our play, but it will be up to the players to show that on the field.

Probable line-ups

Dortmund:  Bürki - Bartra, Sokratis, Toprak, Schmelzer (c) - Castro, Weigl, M. Götze - Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Philipp

Absentees: Durm (hip), Piszczek (knee), Reus (knee), Rode (pelvis) 

Coach: Peter Bosz

Bayern: Ulreich - Rafinha, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba - Martinez, Rudy – Robben (c), Thiago, Coman - Lewandowski

Absentees: Neuer (foot), Bernat (ankle), Kimmich (stomach bug), Ribéry (knee) 

Coach: Jupp Heynckes

Prediction: Dortmund 2-2 Bayern Munich