Considered the El Clasico of Germany, Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich has always been the most important confrontation in the Bundesliga over the past decade. Since the 2009-10 season, only Dortmund or Bayern have been able to lift the German championship trophy.
With Bayern aiming for an eighth consecutive championship, ‘Der Klassiker’ on May 26 is even more meaningful than usual. Dortmund have finished as runners-up four times during the seven seasons that Bayern have been crowned, and they will feel “hurt” again, if they don’t stop their opponents this season. The confrontation at Signal Iduna Park tonight is the final of the season.
Dortmund must win against Bayern in the match Der Klassiker
This will be the third Klassiker of this season, Dortmund started the season with a 2-0 win in the German Cup, before “normality” returned in November, when Bayern beat Dortmund 4 -0 at the Allianz Arena, in Hansi Flick’s first game as Bayern head coach.
Bayern started the season badly when Niko Kovac was in charge, but Flick successfully steered the wobbly ship, and now the Gray Lobster is back at the top of the Bundesliga table. A victory over Dortmund will help Bayern widen the gap with the opponent to 7 points, and 10 points compared to RB Leipzig.
While Bayern have transformed under Flick, Dortmund have also improved a lot in form since November. Head coach Lucien Favre weathered the storm to stay in charge, while January signing Emre Can and Erling Haaland made them stronger in attack.
“We don’t think back to the game [4-0] there. We forgot it. We didn’t play well,” Favre told reporters at his pre-match press conference. Can and Erling Haaland join the squad, who have added quality to the team since January.”
In the first leg, Bayern easily beat Dortmund 4-0
Just a few games after the 4-0 defeat, Favre changed Borussia Dortmund’s approach, switching to a 3-4-3 formation instead of the 4-2-3-1 formation he had used before. . They have only gone three times without a win in all of their Bundesliga matches since then. Emre Can has helped the midfield transition from defense to attack faster, while Haaland has impressed by scoring 13 goals in 13 games in all competitions.
Incredibly, in 23 matches since that time, Bayern Munich share the same record as Dortmund, losing only 1 and drawing 2 matches. Haaland was excellent, but Robert Lewandowski was even better. He leads the list of top scorers with 27 goals, and has even targeted Gerd Muller’s record of 40 goals a season.
Flick says the comparison between Lewandowski and Haaland may be premature now, as Lewandowski has shown himself to be a world-class striker year after year, but he is also aware of the dangers that Lewandowski poses. Norwegian young players can cause.
“This is his first season, so comparing him to Lewandowski now is premature,” Flick told reporters. “Lewandowski has always been world-class in recent years. But Haaland is a huge talent.”
“He’s a young player, but he’s got a huge draw on goal. He’s very passionate. He’s ambitious, he’s a big guy, but he’s still very agile.”
Dortmund and Bayern both own famous strikers
Can is expected to be available from the start after featuring in the 2-0 win over Wolfsburg. Meanwhile, Bayern will try to do everything they can to lock down Haaland.
With no other major football tournament because of Covid-19, not only Germany, but the whole world will be watching the developments of the biggest confrontation that the football world has had in more than two months.
Hopefully it will be worthy of the ‘Klassiker’ moniker, and possibly keep the Bundesliga title race alive for a few more weeks.