Preview: FC Bayern vs. Borussia Dortmund

Lennart Preiss

A huge rivalry is reignited, as 2 of the best teams on the planet lock horns once again. FC Bayern has been excellent in Bundesliga play this year, and "good enough, I guess" in Champions League play; for Dortmund, those results have been reversed. Bayern won in a preseason Super-Pokal match the last time these teams met, but BVB has won 5 straight competition matches. This weekend's biggest football match in the world takes place in ...

Match Week 15 of the 2012-2013 Bundesliga season. With both sides coming off a short week, depth will be key (fortunately, both clubs have a good bit of depth this year). If you're in a hurry, read the last section ("Final Notes") first, because it contains some important site/programming material. Thanks.

The Line-Up

Last week, the hope was that Arjen Robben would be fit by this match; unfortunately, it looks like he won't. Bastian has been appropriately "rested" (and, coincidentally, held out of the Freiburg match that could have seen him suspended for a single yellow). So he'll be there. Jerome Boateng was actually dressed for our last match, but hasn't played in a few weeks. I doubt we'd bring him back for a match like this without any warm-up time.

My guess:

Mandzukic

Ribery - Kroos - Mueller

Martinez - Schweinsteiger

Alaba - Badstuber - Dante - Lahm

Neuer

Which might actually be our best line-up - the obvious absences being Gomez and Robben. I think Gomez WILL get some action in this match, and could even be decisive. My guess that Mandzu will start is just based on the fact that Gomez played in the midweek match, and might be better suited as a 2d-half "instant offense" substitute.

The Opponent

We pretty much summed it up with yesterday's post. Go read that post if you haven't already - it's much better than this one. Dortmund is doing everything right - they're good, they're deep, and they know how to make things difficult for our offense. I had a feeling Marco Reus would be a more than adequate replacement for Kagawa, but even I've been how surprised at the way he seamlessly hopped into their line-up and started producing. Right now, I honestly think he's up there with anyone in the world. Now - only time will tell if he can consistently play at that level year in and year out, but as far as this moment, he's in amazing form.

If we had to name a weakness, I guess you might point to GK Roman Weidenfeller. He's solid, but I don't think he's one of the best 3 or 4 in the Bundesliga right now (whereas, at every other level of the formation, BVB is surely up there with anyone).

By the way, the Bayern official site actually has a pretty good preview up. Go check that out if you have some time. Tommy promises to "run until we bust our lungs."

Elsewhere in the Competition

Doesn't matter this week, does it?

...

Fine. Leverkusen is at home vs. Nürnberg, Schalke is at home vs. 'Gladbach Foals.

Final Notes

- The mobile site upgrade is getting underway today. Unfortunately, this may lead to a few TEMPORARY tech glitches, especially as far as comment counts. This should be fixed up by tonight.

- Chelsea wants Mario Gomez. Didn't we already talk about this last year? No.

- We've got the late match tomorrow (Saturday), kicking off at 6:30 PM local time. Check below for the time in your current area:

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

Click on the AM/PM button if it doesn't appear at first.

- Finally, check back later this afternoon/tonight, as we might have a little guest star action on tap. No promises, though. Thanks for reading.

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