If anyone knows a thing or two about the match-up commercially known as Der Klassiker, it is Mats Hummels. The Bayern Munich youth product has spent his illustrious career on both sides of the rivalry, often coming out on the winning end.
I’ve talked with many people about it. It reminds me of the early Klopp years, the way it looks now. Also the atmosphere in the club again. That won’t be the case with everyone on our team, but for me at least it’s fun to see. And (I feel that way) even though so many players are new; I haven’t played with so many of them at all.
As many Bayern fans will remember (perhaps with disdain), Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp were a thorn in the side of the Bavarian giants. In order to kick-start his career, Hummels made the northeasterly trek to ply his trade for BVB. Luckily for the central defender, his time in the Ruhr Valley aligned perfectly with the reign of Klopp. Like the German manager, the World Cup winner made a name for himself, playing an integral role for the formerly sleeping giants as they dethroned the Rekordmeister and made deep runs into the Champions League.
Along with a moment of nostalgia for the Liverpool manager, Hummels cautioned against the atmosphere awaiting Die Roten at the Westfalenstadion
The fans will turn the stadium into a witch’s cauldron, you can be sure of that.
The fabled Yellow Wall never disappoints and they are surely awaiting the tie with anticipation. Dortmund enter the weekend guaranteed to retain first place in the Bundesliga, holding a 4-point advantage over Bayern. Their Bundesliga dominance, coupled with an electric style of play makes them favorites over Bayern for the first time since the Klopp era.
Despite a midweek loss to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, nothing can seem to pop Dortmund’s bubble. With a host of young talent and the successful integration of new signings, BVB are legitimate title contenders. A positive result for Bayern is vital to not only closing the gap, but righting the ship. Niko Kovac’s men have been plagued by inconsistency and a lack of ideas throughout the campaign, but hey, now is as good a time as any to jumpstart the title defense.
What are your predictions for Der Klassiker? Let us know in the comments below.