Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: Star strikers to shine

It's one of the biggest games in the German football calendar, and Kevin Hatchard believes it'll be a night for centre-forwards when Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker.

Doubted Dortmund have a point to prove

There's no doubt that it's hard taking on the red machine that is Bayern Munich. The Bavarian giants have the most money, they have the man who is currently the world's best centre-forward and they have a core of players who have a pathological desire to win trophies. How do you solve a problem like Bayern Munich?

Well, Dortmund have come closer than anyone else to doing just that during Bayern's recent domination of the Bundesliga. In 2019 they finished just two points behind the record champions under Lucien Favre, and they should have won the title that season, only to collapse in the final quarter of the campaign (they dropped points in three of the last seven matchdays, including a 5-0 hammering at Bayern). They were the last side to stop Bayern winning the league in 2012, a year that also saw them beat Bayern 5-2 in the DFB Cup final.

With RB Leipzig floundering under Jesse Marsch, Dortmund are once again the best of the rest in Germany, and they have a home record to be proud of. They have won all of their Bundesliga home matches this term, and indeed have won the last 11 top-flight games at Signal Iduna Park. However, it's the home matches in other competitions that are a big concern. They were swept aside 3-1 by Ajax in the Champions League (although it should be borne in mind that Mats Hummels was crucially sent off in that game), and they lost by the same score-line to Bayern in the DFL Supercup.

The return of Erling Haaland to the BVB ranks after injury is clearly a massive boost. The Norwegian has scored a dizzying 50 goals in 50 Bundesliga games, and he has an excellent record against Bayern, having scored four goals in five matches against them across the Bundesliga and Supercup. However, not one of those goals has prevented a defeat.

Gio Reyna is back in training, but the game could come too soon for him, while Jude Bellingham has been troubled by a knee problem and hasn't attended all of this week's training sessions as a result.

Bayern trying to block out the background noise

It's been a stormy few weeks for Bayern Munich. The row over unvaccinated players and their subsequent absence from training and matches has grabbed the headlines, as has the ongoing row between the club and some of its fans over the commercial links with Qatar. Coach Julian Nagelsmann has impressed his players with his tactical acumen in his first season at the helm, and he has cut a calm and relaxed figure when answering questions about the off-the-field controversies.

On the field there have been plenty of successes, but it isn't an entirely unblemished picture. Bayern have been flawless in the Champions League and they are top of the Bundesliga table, but they were shredded 5-0 at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the DFB Cup, and defeats to Eintracht Frankfurt and Augsburg mean they are only a point ahead of Dortmund going into this game.

Robert Lewandowski doesn't have to prove anything to anyone, despite being edged out by Lionel Messi in the race for the Ballon d'Or, but he will be fired up. He never seems to lack motivation when facing his old club Borussia Dortmund, and he has smashed in 24 goals in 24 games against them. The Polish international has found the net in nine of his last 11 games for club and country, and he already has 30 goals in 26 appearances this season. He has two hat-tricks and seven braces, and if you only consider Bundesliga meetings with Dortmund, he has found the net 20 times in just 14 clashes.

Influential midfielder Joshua Kimmich has COVID-19 and is still sidelined as a result, so Corentin Tolisso is likely to once again deputise.

Bayern and Lewandowski the winning combination

Bayern are 1.84 to win this on the Exchange, but you can combine a Bayern win with a Lewandowski goal at 2.12 on the Sportsbook's Bet Builder. Bayern have won their last six meetings with their old foes, and Haaland hasn't been able to swing the pendulum in BVB's favour. You could also back Bayern -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 2.3, as three of Bayern's last six wins over Dortmund have seen them win by more than one goal. This season they have won 4-1 at RB Leipzig and 5-1 at Bayer Leverkusen. They relish the big games.

If you want an alternative angle, given Haaland's excellent scoring record, you could back the Norwegian and Lewandowski to both find the net at 2.82. Bayern have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven matches.

0 nhận xét Blogger 0 Facebook

Post a Comment