Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich - Borussia Dortmund
The visitors go into this fixture 11 points behind their rivals but know that a win on Saturday would keep aspirations of a third straight Bundesliga crown within realistic reach.
By Enis Koylu
Lahm, Dante, Badstuber, Alaba
Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Muller, Kroos, Ribery
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Kuba, Gotze, Reus
Bayern Munich shuffled the pack for the trip to Freiburg on Wednesday, leaving out Bastian Schweinsteiger; however, the Germany midfilder can be expected to slot back into the team after a well-deserved rest at the expense of Xherdan Shaqiri.
That will see him parter with Javi Martinez in the deep-lying positions, with Toni Kroos shifting forward into the No. 10 role. Elsewhere, coach Jupp Heynckes will have to make a decision on who will lead the line. Mario Gomez scored in the 5-0 win over Hannover last week, but he was largely quiet during his hour against Freiburg.
Should the veteran coach decide not to pick the Germany star, either Mario Mandzukic or Claudio Pizarro will start in his absence. Luiz Gustavo, however, remains sidelined with a ligament problem, while Jerome Boateng is lacking fitness.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund also rested a couple of players for the game against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Tuesday. Mats Hummels sat out the Ruhr derby, but he will slot back into the heart of defense in place of Felipe Santana.
Ilkay Gundogan also missed the Signal Iduna Park clash with a minor injury, but he could return unless boss Jurgen Klopp elects to start with two defensive-minded midfielders in Sebastian Kehl and Sven Bender. Finally, Mario Gotze will start, with Kevin Grosskreutz the most likely to drop to the bench.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Bayern Munich sealed their place as the Herbstmeister - the winter champions - on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Freiburg at the Mage Solar Stadion.
- Jupp Heynckes has guided teams to second-placed finishes, behind Dortmund, for the last two seasons. His Leverkusen team ended 2010-11 seven points behind the champions, and Bayern trailed BVB by eight at the end of last season.
- The Roten's sporting director, Matthias Sammer, spent six years at the Westfalenstadion as a player, winning the Champions League and Ballon d'Or during his time there.
- Borussia Dortmund has won all of its last four Bundesliga games against Bayern.
- Mats Hummels began his career as a youth at the Allianz Arena, while Sven Bender, Mario Gotze and Moritz Leinter all hail from Bavaria.
- Since losing to Schalke on Oct. 20, BVB is unbeaten in the league, emerging victorious over Bavarian opponents in Augsburg and Greuther Furth since.
Top 3 Predictions
Bayern 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
- 15.74 %
Bayern 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 15.74 %
Bayern 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
- 10.09 %
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||Nov 23, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - Bayern 3|
|German Supercup (GERS)||Jul 27, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 4 - Bayern 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||May 25, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 1 - Bayern 2|
|1. Bundesliga (BUN)||May 4, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 1 - Bayern 1|
|DFB-Pokal (GERC)||Feb 27, 2013||Bayern 1 - Borussia Dortmund 0|
|Mar 1, 2014||Bayern 5 - Schalke 04 1||BUN|
|Feb 23, 2014||Hannover 96 0 - Bayern 4||BUN|
|Feb 19, 2014||Arsenal 0 - Bayern 2||UCL|
|Feb 15, 2014||Bayern 4 - Freiburg 0||BUN|
|Feb 12, 2014||Hamburger 0 - Bayern 5||GERC|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed