It’s time for Der Klassiker! Sorry if you’re one of the traditional types who hates that name, but it’s becoming more and more appropriate as the years pass. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are generally recognized as the two biggest clubs in Germany, and this is the biggest game in the league by far. When these two teams clash, football as a whole take notice.
Hansi Flick has never lost to Dortmund since taking over at Bayern, but there’s always a first time for everything. So, far from taking it easy, he’s probably going to pull out all the stops for this game. What does that mean? Well, let’s take a look.
Let’s dive straight into the predicted lineup, since that’s what you’re here for.
With Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller up top, Bayern have a veritable battering ram ready to face the Dortmund defense. The question is who will support them from the wings. Kingsley Coman was rested against Koln to be fit for this game, so he’s practically guaranteed to start. So that leaves either Serge Gnabry or Leroy Sane on the other wing.
Gnabry just came back from a long layoff due to a muscle injury, but he got a couple of goals in his last game and might be in a good spot mentally to start. Sane, meanwhile, didn’t exactly light it up against the Billy Goats. However, he’s had a few good performances playing opposite Coman in the last few weeks, and he’s probably fitter than Gnabry at the moment.
Who will Hansi opt for? Well, given how he’s approached substitutions this season, I have a feeling that Gnabry will get the nod ahead of Sane. So long as Gnabs is fit, he’s a better defender than Sane, which will be crucial to protect Bayern’s right flank against the threat of Jadon Sancho. Leroy can always come on as a sub, and in fact that’s what he did the last time Bayern faced BVB. As a former Schalke man, the 25-year-old probably wants a chance to start against his arch-nemesis — but practicality trumps desire. We’ll go with Gnabry for this one.
That’s the only point of ambiguity in the lineup, with the rest of it being relatively straightforward. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka will start in the pivot, while the back four will likely remain unchanged. Alphonso Davies will start at left-back, with David Alaba and Jerome Boateng pairing up at center-back. Instead of the calamitous Sarr, Niklas Sule is the main candidate to start at right-back at the moment.
Rounding out the lineup is likely going to be captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. He’s had an insane number of clean sheets ruined by terrible defending this season — hopefully, the poor man finally gets one one Saturday.
Here’s the full predicted lineup, in all of its glory:
Also, check out our preview of the game on the BPW Podcast!
Just minutes after this article went live, we got an update from BVB. Looks like Jadon Sancho, Giovanni Reyna, and Raphael Guerreiro will not travel with the team. Could’ve told us that a bit sooner, but okay.
Unfortunately, Jadon Sancho, Raphaël Guerreiro, and Gio Reyna will not be traveling with the squad to Munich.— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) March 5, 2021