Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will duke it out in Der Klassiker this weekend, and it’s an unusual sight to see neither team in the top two, especially Bayern.
The Bavarians have had a terrible run of form which saw them slip to fifth but a win over Bayer Leverkusen saw the Rekordmeister go up to third where they sit now. On the other hand, Die Schwarzgelben have been very unpredictable so no one really knows their odds coming into this game.
Regardless of the Black and Yellow’s erratic form, former Bayern midfielder and pundit Lothar Matthäus still thinks that Dortmund packs a punch and has the goods to upset Bayern.
“The biggest competition for Bayern is still Borussia Dortmund,” Lothar told FourFourTwo ahead of Sunday’s battle. “The likes of Union Berlin and Freiburg have made terrific starts to the season and it’s fantastic to see some of the so-called ‘smaller clubs’ causing the big boys some restless nights, but when you’re talking about Bayern’s key rivals, you always start with Dortmund.
Lothar pointed out that there are some aspects of football in which Dortmund have the edge over their southern rivals.
“It’s more than a simple matter of football. It’s also clear in terms of financial power, fan support, their stadium, and the atmosphere they foster. There may be times when Dortmund wobble, but very few teams can compete with them long-term.”
Both Klassiker teams have seen their prolific goal scorers bail on them in the most recent transfer window: Robert Lewandowski forcing his way to FC Barcelona and Erling Haaland lighting it up with Manchester City in the Premier League. Bayern are more or less holding up without a proper striker, deploying players such as Sadio Mané, Serge Gnabry, and Mathys Tel up front. But what about Dortmund? Lothar said that their transfer window exploits should be enough to give Bayern conniptions.
“Despite losing Haaland in the summer - and Premier League fans are already seeing the impact he can have — BVB still had a good window and strengthened in some key areas,” Lothar explained. “New faces came in, the defence was given some much-needed upgrades and we can’t forget that they also changed their coach. Yes, Edin Terzic has been in the role before but there is always a shift in culture when you change the person in charge.
“With all that change, it’s no surprise that they’re still finding their feet as a team this season but I expect them to pose Bayern some serious problems in the Klassiker this weekend - and to have a successful campaign overall.”
Bayern are on the back of dispatching Viktoria Plzeň 5-0 in the Champions League and are looking to continue their rediscovered form when they visit Dortmund away.