Borussia Dortmund can torpedo former boss Thomas Tuchel’s unveiling party at Bayern Munich on Saturday and take another step closer to the Bavarian giants’ bid for an 11th straight Bundesliga title.
Dortmund are a point ahead of Bayern but meet their title rivals at Munich’s Allianz Arena, which was a graveyard to his aspirations in the post-Jurgen Klopp era.
Dortmund will win nine out of ten league games in 2023 and go into the game in top form.
Bayern have won five out of ten during that period, leading to the sacking of manager Julian Nagelsmann for former Dortmund boss Tuchel last week.
Dortmund’s last league win in Munich came under Klopp in 2014 when the title race finally settled in Bayern’s favour.
Since then, Bayern have notched up eight Der Classic victories in a row, scoring 33 goals and conceding just six.
“It’s a huge game for all of us. It’s about building self-confidence and anticipation,” said Tuchel.
“There is no greater challenge than starting my time here with a game against Dortmund. It’s the biggest game in German football and, given the current position in the table, has an additional component.”
The visitors got a footballing lesson in 2018/19, the last time Dortmund made their debut at Munich late in the season.
Beaten 5-0 at half-time after trailing 4-0, Dortmund would ultimately lose the title to Bayern by two points.
Even Tuchel, the most successful Dortmund coach of the post-Klopp era, failed to win a championship title in Munich.
However, he was in the hot seat in Dortmund’s most recent win at Allianz, a 3-2 comeback win in the 2016/17 DFB Cup semifinals.
While a draw would keep Dortmund’s one-point lead with eight games to go, midfielder Emre Can said this week: “We’re going there to win.”
“It will be extremely difficult, but we believe in ourselves.”
Leon Goretzka, who was substituted for Can early on Tuesday in Germany’s 3-2 defeat in a friendly against Belgium in Cologne due to an ankle problem, should soon be on the pitch.
“I feel good. I sprained my ankle, but it should be fine for Saturday,” said Goretzka, who came to FC Bayern from Dortmund’s archrival Schalke in 2018.
Worth seeing: Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)
Since arriving from Manchester City in the summer of 2020, Leroy Sane’s inconsistency has frustrated Bayern Munich fans – because he can be brilliant on occasion.
The former Schalke striker, now 27, was set to enter the prime of his career but his form has slacked off to such an extent that Sane was left out of Germany’s squad for the recent friendlies against Peru and Belgium.
Former managers Hansi Flick and Julian Nagelsmann have been unable to get Sane to consistently repeat his Man City form, which Tuchel will hope to rectify.
Tuchel addressed the expectations in his first Bayern training session and gave the smiling Sane a playful kick in the butt.
Null – Eintracht Frankfurt were previously on their way to a Champions League spot and have not won a league game in five games and sit sixth.
Eight – Unbeaten in eight, Schalke can jump out of the relegation zone for the first time since October with a win against Bayer Leverkusen.
Eight – Bayern have won their last eight home games against Dortmund. Dortmund haven’t won a game for the title in Munich since November 2011.
Games (all times 1330 GMT unless otherwise stated)
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bochum (1830 GMT)
Schalke – Bayer Leverkusen, Union Berlin – Stuttgart, Wolfsburg – Augsburg, Freiburg – Hertha Berlin, RB Leipzig – Mainz, Bayern Munich – Borussia Dortmund (16:30 GMT)
Cologne – Borussia Mönchengladbach, Werder Bremen – Hoffenheim (15:30 GMT)
Source : sports.yahoo.com