All eyes will be on the Signal Iduna Park today when Borussia Dortmund hosts their traditional rivals Bayern Munich in a blockbuster Der Klassiker in the Bundesliga.
Trailing the mighty Bavarians by just a point, Marco Rose’s side have a chance to climb atop the league table for the first time this season with a win. However, Die Borussen have lost their last six meetings with the Bavarians, with their last victory in this fixture coming in November 2018.
Bayern Munich, meanwhile, could go four points clear with another victory on Saturday. They emerged 3-1 winners on their last visit to the ground in August during the DFL Supercup. The game will see two of the best strikers in the game at the moment, Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland, go head-to-head. Ahead of the highly anticipated kick-off, here’s a look at five key players to watch out for in the 132nd Der Klassiker:
It’s been a sensational start to life in Bavaria for Dayot Upamecano. He joined Bayern Munich for £38 million from their domestic rivals RB Leipzig in the summer.
The Frenchman has taken little to no time to acclimatize to his new surroundings. He has looked right at home at the heart of the Bavarian giants’ defence. A ball-playing center-back with a man-mountain physique, Upamecano also possesses an enviable passing range. He has registered a 90% success in the league this season. He’s strong in the air and emphasizes good positioning. It’s also worth mentioning that the 23-year-old has four top-flight assists in 11 games, demonstrating his offensive threat.
Besides a short injury stint in September, Marco Reus has largely kept himself fit this season. That has translated into top performances on the field. The Borussia Dortmund captain has carried much of his team’s creative burden, bagging eight top-flight assists and four goals to Versatile, fast, agile, and technically gifted, the 32-year-old has conjured his best form in a while. He was on target against Bayern Munich in the German Supercup in August as well.
Erling Haaland’s return from injury couldn’t have come soon enough. Without the talismanic striker, Borussia Dortmund’s task in the Klassiker would have been cut out. The irrepressible Norwegian has been on fire since joining Dortmund in January 2020. He bagged his 50th Bundesliga strike last weekend after coming off the bench. It’s worth mentioning that it came on his 50th appearance too. That is an average of a goal every game, an insane record even by his own lofty standards.
Haaland’s stats for the current league campaign stands at ten goals from seven games. He will look to bag a few more in the Klassiker, where he has struck four times in five games.
Do you even need a reason? Robert Lewandowski is simply the best striker in the world. Nobody even comes remotely close. His stats from the last few seasons are ridiculous. With 25 goals from 20 games in all competitions this season, the Polish hitman is currently on a tear once again. He has netted 14 of them in the Bundesliga alone, the most by any player. Pacy, athletic and devastating, Lewandowski has cut a swathe through every defence on his way. His record against his old club in this fixture is well-documented too.
In 24 games against Die Borussen since his famous switch in 2014, the striker has netted 24 times. That includes two hat-tricks and two strikes in the German Supercup in August this year. He’ll look to bag more on Saturday.