It’s the biggest game in Germany this weekend, let alone one of the biggest derbies in Europe. Dortmund face off against Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker.
Dortmund host the current champions and favourites to reclaim their title for the fourth straight season. But, with just eight games to go, the match has fallen at a near-perfect time for BVB to pounce.
Here’s a few reasons why Dortmund might just win this weekend.
The months of February and March are hectic for scheduling, with top sides across Europe playing two games a week throughout, meaning little-to-no time to recover, rest and reconcile on your performances. Dortmund have been in fine, fine form throughout. Seven straight wins in all competitions for Thomas Tuchel’s side, compared to Bayern’s four out of seven – with their most recent a defeat to Mainz. Bayern have just three days to chop, change and calculate from Mainz to Dortmund. It’s a big step up – especially after dropping valuable home points. Dortmund will never be readier to bite at the ankles of their Bundesliga overlords Bayern.
The most in-form striker in Europe? Probably. 22 goals from 23 games in the Bundesliga so far this season is a sensational return for Dortmund’s pacey forward. Bayern, without some key figures in their defensive setup, will do more than struggle to contain the partnership of him and Marco Reus – should he be fit – this weekend.
DECLINE IN FORM SINCE PEP’S ANNOUNCEMENT
Bayern’s victories haven’t been particularly hard hit since Pep Guardiola announced he will be joining Manchester City next season, but there’s been a notable dip in the quality of their performances. Not so much like City under Pellegrini – who have seemed to have given up and are just awaiting next season – but the Bayern side must be deflated at losing such a man as Guardiola as a coach. You’d think it’d spur a side on for one last hurrah to win all they can, but it must be hard knowing it’s as a leaving present.
EVERYONE LIKES AN UNDERDOG
There’s not a soul in the world that doesn’t enjoy a good underdog story. Now, of course Dortmund winning the league wouldn’t be as ridiculously outrageous and stupendous as a nearly relegated this-time-last-year Leicester side doing so in the Premier League, but the gulf between Bayern and Dortmund is probably much larger than Leicester and Arsenal or City, realistically. Everyone and their dog will be cheering for Dortmund this weekend – particularly Jurgen Klopp.