What was once just another one of FC Bayern's opponents has now turned into one of the biggest rivalries in Europe. Add the names Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski and a whole new level of resentment gets included.
FC Bayern München vs. Borussia Dortmund is now the Saturday showcase, a game on Bayern's schedule that everyone is looking forward too. Now is the first installment of what could be a six-part series (if the two should meet before the UEFA Champions League Final), with each saga being more entertaining than the previous.
The Game (102nd Meeting)
Location: Signa Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany
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TV Listings: GolTV (USA & Canada), ESPN UK / HD (UK), Sky Bundesliga 1 / HD (Germany), Other Countries
Bundesliga: 38 W, 28 D, 22 L
DFB Pokal: 4 W, 2 L
UEFA Champions League: 1 W, 1 D, 1 L
DFL Supercup: 1 W, 1 L
Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)
1. Gerhard "Gerd" Müller, FCB – 15
2. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, FCB – 10
3. Lothar Emmerich, BVB – 8
4. Manfred Burgsmüller, BVB; Giovanne Elber, FCB; Roy Makaay, FCB – 7
Largest Victory: 11-1 (November 27, 1971, Munich, Germany)
Largest Defeat: 3-6 (September 9, 1967, Dortmund, Germany)
Most Goals Scored: 4; Gerhard "Gerd" Müller, FCB (November 27, 1971)
DFL Supercup Record
3-4 L (July 25, 1989, Kaiserslautern, Germany)
2-1 W (August 21, 2012, Munich, Germany)
Seeing as Guardiola used both the 4-1-4-1 and the 4-3-3 consistently this preseason, getting a read on what he'll use in the DFL Supercup is harder than getting a read on how many more Wolverine movies there will be.
Although, the FC Bayern Website brought to light today that Franck Ribéry and Manuel Neuer will not make the trip to Dortmund, both picking up "minor knocks" in the Uli Hoeneß Cup on Wednesday. Götze and Holger Badstuber both remain on the long-term injury list, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Emre Can look like they will travel with the team to West Germany.
The biggest question once again remains with the Confederations Cup trio of Dante, Luiz Gustavo, and Javier Martínez. Martínez was the only one left off the pitch of the three, with Dante debuting in the Starting XI and Gustavo substituting in for Philipp Lahm in the 60th minute. The two Brazilian internationals will probably see their name on the team sheet, but Martínez may not be quite ready to debut in the Supercup.
Projected Line-up (4-3-3):
Shaqiri – Müller – Robben
Kroos – Schweinsteiger – Thiago
Alaba – Dante – Boateng – Lahm
Bench: Raeder, Rafinha, van Buyten, Martínez, Gustavo, Pizarro, Mandžukić
Borussia Dortmund used their €37 million from the Götze transfer and part of the €54 million Champions League revenues to immediately improve their team. The goal expediture of €50 million was met pretty much on the nose, dishing out €27.5 million for Shaktar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, €13 million for Saint Étienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and €9.5 million on Werder Bremen defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Mkhitaryan has already been ruled out for the start of the season, his injury status ironically parallel to Götze's. The other notable absence Łukasz Piszczek, while Aubameyang and Jakub Blaszczykowski both appear doubtful to start, but could come off the bench.
While Dortmund have experimented with a 4-3-3 in the preseason, the Telekom Cup proved that they are still sticking to their 4-2-3-1 most of the time. Kevin Großkreutz and Papastathopoulos have both played the right fullback position in Piszczek's stead, and Julian Schieber and Jonas Hoffmann have gotten minutes in the attacking midfield depending on Großkreutz's positioning.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Großkreutz – Reus – Hoffmann
Gündoğan – Bender
Schmelzer – Hummels – Subotić – Papastathopoulos
Bench: Langerak, Günter, Kirch, Kehl, Şahin, Blaszczykowski, Aubameyang
Throw the Telekom Cup aside, considering it was just a 60 minute friendly. Dortmund have always been an extremely difficult team to break down, and have the pace and quality up top to counter and attack quickly.
That being said, Thiago Alcântara has been a major X-factor for FC Bayern in recent matches, no matter if they were official or not. If Starke can be even 80 percent of Manuel Neuer between the pipes, FC Bayern could once again deflate the spirits of the Yellow Wall in West Germany.
Projected Score: FC Bayern München 2, Borussia Dortmund 1