It’s finally here. The biggest game of the league season — Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich. Both teams have come a long way since their last meeting, where Hansi Flick orchestrated a masterclass to demolish Lucien Favre’s side 4-0. With just four points separating the two clubs at the top of the league, this game could very well determine the outcome of the title. So how are both teams shaping up?
Let’s dive right into potential lineups. Serge Gnabry did manage to train with the team, so he should be available — that means we can expect to see a front four consisting of Robert Lewandowski up top, Gnabry on the left, Kingsley Coman on the right, and Thomas Muller behind the striker. These four have been Flick’s go-to lineup in any big game, be it Dortmund, Chelsea, or Leipzig. If they’re fit, there’s no reason for the coach to change a winning formula. Goals will almost certainly come with these four up top, especially if Mats Hummels ends up having to miss the game due to injury.
The big news this week is that Thiago Alcantara will not be available for the game. Hansi Flick confirmed in his press conference that the Spaniard did not travel with the team. This is a huge blow, compounded by the fact that BVB may have Axel Witsel returning to the squad after injury.
In Thiago’s absence, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are the most likely pairing to start in midfield. In the 2019 Supercup, Favre beat Bayern by overloading Kovac’s midfield — he had his fullbacks tuck inside to create a numerical advantage that stifled the Bavarians’ passing. He’ll probably want to do it again if given the opportunity, so Kimmich and Goretzka have to be on top form for this one. Flick mentioned the importance of Goretzka’s aggressiveness in his press conference — that could come into play in a big way.
Finally, in defense — don’t expect any changes. While many folks will want to see Lucas Hernandez start to deal with the freak that is Erling Haaland, Hansi Flick isn’t the type of coach to tinker with a good thing. Jerome Boateng is confirmed to be fit and ready for the game, so he’ll be expected to start alongside David Alaba at center back. Flanking the pair will be Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard, whose jobs are more important than ever.
Phonzie in particular will look to recreate his success from the last Klassiker, where he pocketed both Achraf Hakimi and Jadon Sancho at the same time. While Sancho hasn’t been 100% fit since lockdown lifted, he did get a run in BVB’s most recent game and even notched up another assist. Shutting him down will be of utmost importance, and Bayern will be relying on the Canadian to get the job done.
Finally, the goalkeeper will be Manuel Neuer — no surprises there. With all that out of the way, here’s how we think the team will line up against Borussia Dortmund tomorrow:
It appears that Serhe Gnabry completed the final training session. That means he should be good to go tomorrow.