With only five points between them at the top of the table, Saturday's clash between two of Germany's biggest clubs promises to be one of the most exciting games of the season.
Boateng, Van Buyten, Badstuber, Lahm
Luiz Gustavo, Alaba
Muller, Kroos, Ribery
Piszczek, Felipe Santana, Hummels, Lowe
Gotze, Kagawa, Grosskreutz
With Anatoliy Tymoshchuk suspended, Luiz Gustavo takes his place as Bayern's anchor. Some would expect Kroos to set up shop next to him as the Bavarians' second pivot after his glittering displays for Germany, but Jupp Heynckes publicly stated on Wednesday that young Toni would not be taking Bastian Schweinsteiger's place – so David Alaba starts in central midfield.
In defense, Jerome Boateng returns from suspension, so expect Rafinha to drop to the bench. In attack, Arjen Robben has been passed fit, although Heynckes may wish to use the Dutchman sparingly.
Having fractured his cheekbone in a clash with Wolfsburg's Sotirios Kyrgiakos at the start of the month, Neven Subotic is still a few weeks from a return to action for Dortmund. Felipe Santana will deputize at center back, and elsewhere in the back line, Marcel Schmelzer's availability will be subject to a late decision by Jurgen Klopp.
||DID YOU KNOW|
- These two teams have met each other a total of 85 times. Bayern is in the lead in terms of games won with 39, while Dortmund has only 20.
- Dortmund can close in on Bayern's lead at the top of the Bundesliga to a meager two points if it picks up an away win at the Allianz Arena, although Bayern still has a vastly superior goal difference with +28 to BVB's +17.
- From 1995-2009, Dortmund star Mats Hummels, now considered to be among the best defenders in the Bundesliga, was a Bayern Munich youth and fringe player.
- Mario Gomez is among the very top scorers at club level in Europe this season with a mammoth tally of 13 goals. Dortmund's closest is Robert Lewandowski with eight.
- Dortmund is unbeaten in seven games, while Bayern is on a four-match winning streak.