IF there is one team that can stop Bayern Munich’s rampant attack, it would appear to be arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund.
The two sides, who are level at the top of the Bundesliga with five wins and one defeat each from six games, meet in a German “Klassiker” on Saturday.
It is a match which pits the league’s best attack against its tightest defence.
While titleholders Bayern Munich have blasted 24 goals in six games, last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund have conceded only two, both in a 2-0 defeat at Augsburg.
But they have kept clean sheets in their other five matches.
Borussia Dortmund, hosts on Saturday, have played 374 minutes in all competitions since conceding their last goal in the 3-1 UEFA Champions League defeat to Lazio.
Coach Lucien Favre has reverted to his preferred four-man defence this season, having switched to a three-man back line halfway through the last campaign due to what he described as a “few problems.”
“We feel very comfortable with the new system,” said defender Manuel Akanji after their 3-0 win at Club Brugge on Wednesday.
“Sometimes you need a small change and I think the return to the four-man defence has helped.”
Borussia Dortmund are hoping that Akanji’s regular partner at the centre of defence, Mats Hummels, will be fit after missing the Brugge match.
Bayern, 6-2 winners at Salzburg on Tuesday, are on a remarkable run.
They have won 27 out of their 28 matches in all competitions since football restarted in May following the coronavirus stoppage.
Former Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has led the way and has scored 10 league goals already this season, at an average of one every 37 minutes.
Bayern Munich did the double over Borussia Dortmund last season as they won the title by 13 points and also beat their rivals 3-2 in the Super Cup in December.
Even so, the club lived up to their reputation for off-field drama this week.
This was after president Herbert Hainer said in a radio interview that they had withdrawn their offer to long-serving David Alaba over a contract extension.
The Austrian said he was disappointed that details had come out into the open while his team mates and coach Hansi Flick both backed him.
“It’s important to me that we have calm in the team and our surroundings,” said Flick. “We have a very, very important game against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday and I’m not interested in anything else. I won’t say anything more about it.”
– Nov. 5, 2020 @ 16:15 GMT |