Out of reach
Things have changed compared to last season. Bayern Munich are once again storming the Bundesliga leaving all the other teams gasping. But it is not only that Borussia Dortmund are not able to hold the pace, they are drowning deep to relegation zone of Bundesliga. But that might be BVB‘s chance to earn something in Munich.
Borussia Dortmund is a sphinx this season. They won all of their five cup matches, including three Champions League matches, conceding only one goal. With that perfect cup record it seems unbelievable that the star-packed team has only won 7 (!) points out of 9 Bundesliga matches. While they were unlucky in some matches, the black-yellow players still weren‘t able to knock down Bundesliga minors like Hamburger SV and 1. FC Cologne. Borussia Dortmund‘s season target - direct Champions League qualification - is more than far away. At the moment it is all about getting away from relegation zone.
Even players like Shinji Kagawa, who returned from Manchester United, weren‘t able to inspire Borussia Dortmund‘s offence. While not scoring on a constant level the defence is too often shaky. 15 conceded goals in 9 matches is no record for the upper third of Bundesliga table. Also World cup winner and central defender Mats Hummels hasn‘t reached his top level. With central defender Sokratis moving to the left-back position coach Jürgen Klopp opted during the last matches for a more solid option, that for example worked pretty well in Istanbul, where Borussia beat Galatasaray 4-0.
Bayern Munich on the other hand is storming once again through all competitions. Five wins out of five cup matches and 21 points out of 9 Bundesliga matches means the Bavarians reached the round of the last 16 in DFB cup, nearly reached the Champions League knock out stage and already easily top the Bundesliga table. Losing World cup winning midfielder Toni Kroos to Real Madrid, they in return signed Xabi Alonso from the Royals. The super experienced holding midfielder gave a new touch to Bayern Munich‘s style of play. They even raised their ball possesion with Alonso breaking the all time recording for ball contacts within a single Bundesliga match.
And while Bayern Munich already stole two Borussia Dortmund top players in Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski they now have an eye on Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Marco Reus. Reus has a buy-out clause of 25 or 35 million Euro that can be activated next summer. The tiny ultra-fast forward hasn‘t won any great title until now. With Borussia Dortmund being on risk to miss out on European football next season, it will be difficult to keep him in Westphalia. This topic is another reason why the atmosphere between both teams is not the best. Especially both CEOs, Rummenigge and Watzke, won‘t become friends anymore.
Bayern Munich have to do without injured players like Thiago, Badstuber, Schweinsteiger and Martinez. Benatia, Boateng and Alaba might start in defence. Rafinha, Lahm, Alonso and Bernat in midfield, while Götze and Müller will play in attacking midfield behind Lewandowski. Arjen Robben will be back from injury but take place on the bench.
Jürgen Klopp won‘t make many changes. Weidenfeller will return to goal. Piszczek will start as right-back with Subotic and Hummels in central defence. Sokratis will probably once again start as left-back. Like against FC St. Pauli Borussia will start with three holding midfielder - Mkhitaryan, Kehl and Großkreutz. Kagawa and Reus make up our attacking midfield behind sole striker Aubameyang.
Bayern Munich: Neuer - Benatia, Boateng, Alaba - Rafinha, Lahm, Alonso, Bernat - Müller, Götze - Lewandowski
Coach: Pep Guardiola
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Sokratis - Mkhitaryan, Kehl, Großkreutz - Kagawa, Reus - Aubameyang
Coach: Jürgen Klopp
Kick off: 6:30 pm CET
Venue: Allianz-Arena, Munich