A lot of eyes will be on the Allianz Arena on April 1, not for some kind of elaborate prank but a truly momentous match that may well decide the destination of this year’s Bundesliga title. Borussia Dortmund will travel to Bayern Munich’s home in search of maintaining or extending the narrow 1 point gap that Edin Terzic’s men hold over Bayern at the moment. Center back Nico Schlotterbeck is one of the key players of this Dortmund side, not only for his incredible 9 goal contributions in the league this season, but his solidity at the back, too, which has largely kept veteran Mats Hummels out of the team. And in an interview with Bild, as captured by @iMiaSanMia, Schlotterbeck had a few things to say ahead of the defining clash.
For instance, he knows that Dortmund aren’t exactly the massive underdogs here. In fact, they have simply performed better than Bayern in the Bundesliga in 2023. “We got more points than Bayern this year and are unbeaten. These are two very good conditions before the game. If everyone brings their top performance, we can win in Munich.”
However, Bayern has never been a club to take setbacks lying down and Schlotterbeck is wary of such a reaction. “We know Bayern will be motivated after they lost their lead [at the top of the table].”
When asked if the title is now being spoken about as the target of the season, Schlotterbeck stopped short of declaring it as the goal but instead insisted that the team needs to keep doing what it is doing. “We never said we don’t want to win the title. I give everything every day for this chance. We have to continue showing mentality, willingness and team spirit every week, which distinguished us this year.”
That mentality, of course, has them sitting top of the table after winning every Bundesliga game bar one in 2023, at the time of writing. Can they bring the Bundesliga title back to Dortmund after a long decade of Bavarian dominance? Julian Nagelsmann’s men will be raring to make sure the answer is no.