Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund Cheat Sheet
Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund
The resumption of the Bundesliga following the international break sees Bayern Munich host Borussia Dortmund in the Topspiel on Saturday evening. It’s second vs first with one point separating the two teams in what is arguably the biggest Klassiker for some time – whoever wins, it’s likely to have a big say in where the Meisterschale ends up in May.
Usually the Bundesliga would take a backseat over the international break but not this time around. Bayern Munich made a decision on March 24 to dismiss Julian Nagelsmann, despite being one point behind Borussia Dortmund and having a 100 percent record in this season’s Champions League. At this point, Nagelsmann also hadn’t lost the dressing room with Joshua Kimmich and several other players announcing their support for their now former coach. But with Thomas Tuchel available and gaining interest from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich decided to move quickly to appoint the former Dortmund, PSG and Chelsea coach. It’s certainly a bold move by Bayern’s hierarchy.
As for Borussia Dortmund, Gregor Kobel has declared himself fit and is expected to start after missing their last four competitive games. BVB are unbeaten in the Bundesliga in 2023 and have won 9 out of their 10 games, dropping points to Schalke in the Revierderby. But they responded magnificently with a 6-1 win against Cologne. Bayern have won 5 of their last 6 meetings against Dortmund and this is a fixture that typically involves goals with Over 3.5 Goals in their last six games.
After a 2-1 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen prior to the international break, Bayern Munich dropped into second place, one point behind Borussia Dortmund. Prior to his dismissal, Julian Nagelsmann warned his players that they must win the Klassiker given Borussia Dortmund’s excellent form, otherwise they run the risk of missing out on the Bundesliga title with 9 games remaining. Even though Nagelsmann’s sacking comes as a shock, you can expect Tuchel to be an excellent fit.
Bayern Munich have always had that winning mentality instilled within the club but too often this season they’ve struggled against the likes of Bochum, Augsburg and Cologne. A poor performance and a defeat from a winning position against Leverkusen prompted Bayern to react and in appointing Tuchel, they’ve got a coach who has a reputation for coaching big reputation players. Already at his first training session, Tuchel was pictured having a long conversation with Leroy Sane, who has struggled in recent weeks, but has been one of Bayern’s best players this season. According to Kicker, Sane is expected to line up alongside Kinsley Coman and Muller behind Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
At the Allianz Arena, Bayern Munich tend to dominate. They’re unbeaten at home across all competitions this season and haven’t lost against Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz since 2014. Across their last 10 home games in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich are averaging an xG of 2.7 which includes a 4.1 xG vs Mainz and 4.5 xG vs Bochum. Clinical in the final third, Bayern have put 5 goals past Augsburg in their last home game from an xG of 2.6.
But given their form in 2023, Borussia Dortmund will certainly make this difficult. The reverse fixture at the Signal Iduna Park finished 2-2 and it’s the closest BVB have got to beating their league rivals in a considerable time. Dortmund will come into the Klassiker full of confidence with Julian Brandt potentially returning, Raphael Guerreiro now excelling in midfield and Marco Reus in form with 4 goals and 3 assists in his last 6 Bundesliga games.
Unfortunately for Dortmund, this feels like a difficult task and that shows in the odds. Bayern Munich are completely dominant at home and even though Tuchel has only had a couple of training sessions, that shouldn’t be reflective of this game. I can see Bayern returning to the Bundesliga summit.
One player that has somewhat struggled under Julian Nagelsmann is Thomas Muller. He’s started just 50 percent of Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga games in 2023 and has just 4 assists in the calendar year. He’s been tasked with both playing as Bayern’s No. 9 in the absence of Choupo-Moting and Sadio Mane, a role that doesn’t suit him, whilst also tasked with playing a supporting role. The appointment of Tuchel may be beneficial to getting the best from Muller.
Muller hasn’t had a single chance in 4 of Bayern’s last 5 Bundesliga games and he’s only registered 3 shots, all of which came against Union Berlin. Against Union, he did register 2 assists with an xA of 0.5 and that proves that Muller can still influence games. Under Tuchel, expect Muller, with his experience, to be a key player again for Bayern Munich, especially in the absence of Jamal Musiala who will miss Saturday’s game against Borussia Dortmund.
Lining up behind Choupo-Moting and alongside Coman and Sane, expect to see Muller play a role we’re used to seeing him in. Occupying the half-spaces, Dortmund’s Julian Ryerson will have a difficult task picking up Muller whilst also being in 1v1 situations against Sane.
No team averages more than Bayern (2.9) in the Bundesliga this season whilst they have the highest number of Key Passes Per 90 (6) and Chances Created (10). If Tuchel can get Muller back to his best, expect him to have a big influence on this game, and either contribute with a goal or assist.
In 2023, Emre Can has established himself as a key player for Edin Terzic in Borussia Dortmund’s midfield. It’s been a change in system for BVB that would usually see Jude Bellingham partner Can in a double-pivot but now the latter plays as the anchor, with Bellingham and Guerreiro playing a little more advanced. Can’s performances have also been noted by Hansi Flick with the Dortmund man returning to the Germany squad following an absence.
In 1086 minutes of Bundesliga football this season, Can has already served a suspension for accumulating five yellow cards – averaging a card every 217.2 minutes. Can picked up his fifth card against Schalke, meaning he missed the game against Cologne prior to the international break and will therefore return for the Klassiker against Bayern Munich.
In 3 of his last 5 Bundesliga games, Can won 100 percent of his tackles: 1 vs Werder Bremen, 2 vs Hertha Berlin and 4 vs Schalke. But he is prone to making a rash decision when under pressure. And if Borussia Dortmund are losing, or find themselves on the counter-attack, Can often finds himself in a position where he can lose his head, whether that’s making a tactical foul or finding himself caught on the ball, and making a mistake in Dortmund’s defensive third.
Although he’s arguably Dortmund’s most improved player in 2023, Can to be Shown a Card represents excellent value in what I would expect to be a feisty affair.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Haven’t got a Paddy Power account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Paddy Power and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £30 on the 11/2 Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund Bet Builder. Here’s what you can get:
* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets *
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *