Goal.com - Home

thumbnail Hello,
February 26, 2011 5:30 PM GMT
Allianz-Arena — München
Referee:‬ M. Gräfe‎
Attendance:‬ 69000‎
16′ Luiz Gustavo
L. Barrios 9′
Nuri Sahin 18′
Mats Hummels 60′

Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich - Borussia Dortmund

Goal.com looks ahead to the clash between Germany's biggest club and by far its best team, who have rattled the men from Munich.

By Gary Niblock

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munchen, Kagawa and Kroos(Getty Images)
Wanting To Show Who Is Number One

Although some will claim a free week following a comfortable victory stroll on the domestic front is the ideal preparation for a crunch fixture against a team of the calibre of Borussia Dortmund, the Champions League fixture with Inter should have presented no such problems for Bayern Munich. Year after year, the ability to deal with fighting on multiple fronts and one big game after another have become ingrained in the club culture.

Bayern's form has unquestionably spiked upwards since the reunification of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in Louis van Gaal's starting line-up. The Dutchman in particular is one of the world's finest players, even if his talents are not always appreciated by the wider footballing community due to his patchy fitness record.

Bolstered by their wonderful wingers, Bayern went some way to exacting revenge on Inter for last year's Champions League final defeat. Der Rekordmeister perhaps walked the tightrope on occasions, especially as Samuel Eto'o was in the mood. However, they found the perfect balance between defence and attack against an Inter side who have a reputation for not keeping clean sheets. Unsurprisingly, van Gaal believes that it will be a more difficult task this weekend:

"We can definitely still improve in possession. Inter have a very good team. We have made a good stride forward. It will be more difficult against Dortmund. We have this game in our legs and we have to play as early as Saturday."

This is probably a bigger game for Bayern than Dortmund although it promises to be a feisty encounter. In spite of Dortmund's mammoth advantage over Bayern, Christian Nerlinger believes that Bayern remain the premier club in the Bundesliga. The sporting director pointed out that the likes of Wolfsburg and Stuttgart had been surprise champions in recent years and neither had been able to maintain the consistency demanded of a top club. Given Dortmund's superior pedigree and incredible fanbase, as well as one of Europe's best stadia, the odds must be on der BVB providing a much greater threat to Bayern's status as king in the medium to long term.

Aus-sie Up To It?

Unlike their opponents, runaway league leaders Borussia Dortmund had no European adventure during the week however, that did not mean a lack of drama in the Ruhrpott. On Tuesday, Roman Weidenfeller, enjoying the best season of his career, suffered a knee injury after a collision with centre-half Mats Hummels. The 30-year-old, who recently signed a new contract to ward off interest from Aston Villa, now sees his ever-present status placed in great danger.

Of course, one man's misfortune is often another's opportunity and in this case, Dortmund's second choice goalie Mitchell Langerak stands to benefit. Langerak hails from Australia, who have produced a string of fine keepers over the years, including Ian Healy and Adam Gilchrist. And that's just in cricket! The 22-year-old Langerak is seen as their heir apparent in the Socceroos team to Mark Schwarzer and he has some pedigree, finishing runner-up in the A-League with his former side Melbourne Victory in 2010. Juergen Klopp remains unruffled.

"It's getting better and the pain is going down. We will leave the decision to the last moment. If he shakes the injury off, he will play. [If not], then one of the best Australian goalkeepers will deputise between the sticks for one of the best German keepers," he told the club's website.

On the pitch, Dortmund are ticking over nicely and whilst not quite at the level of their scintillating form of the Hinrunde, they displayed the ruthlessness of champions last week in their 2-0 victory over an in-form St Pauli. Lucas Barrios was on the scoresheet with a fine finish and he will relish the duel with the Bundesliga's sharpest shooter Mario Gomez. Crucially for the visitors, Neven Subotic is reunited with Mats Hummels. The Serb had a game to forget in Kaiserslautern two weeks ago and will need to be back to his imperious best if die Borussen are to put the final nail in Bayern's coffin.


Bayern Munich

Danijel Pranjic is a major doubt after coming off during Bayern's Champions League win in Milan with an adductor problem. Holger Badstuber would be the most likely deputy with Breno slotting in alongside Anatoliy Tymoschuk at the heart of the defence. Given his fine display in midweek, it seems likely that Luiz Gustavo will retain his midfield spot alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Probable Starting XI: Kraft - Lahm, Tymoschuk, Breno, Badstuber - Luiz Gustavo, Schweinsteiger - Robben, Mueller, Ribery - Gomez

Borussia Dortmund

As discussed above, it looks likely that Roman Weidenfeller's knee injury will rule him out although understandably, Dortmund will do everything possible to have him right for the Saturday teatime fixture. Should he not make it, Australian stopper Mitchell Langerak will deputise. Neven Subotic returns from suspension to partner Mats Hummels and Kuba should make his return on the right wing after injury. His compatriot Robert Lewandowski is on standby, and he would line up behind Barrios with Goetze moving out to the flank.

Probable Starting XI: Langerak - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Sahin - Blaszczykowski, Goetze, Grosskreutz - Barrios

Follow Goal.com on . Get the latest football news direct... Check out Goal.com's  page; be part of the best football fan community in the world!

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
1. Bundesliga ‎(GER1)‎ Apr 12, 2014 FC Bayern München 0 - Borussia Dortmund 3
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
1. Bundesliga ‎(GER1)‎ Nov 23, 2013 Borussia Dortmund 0 - FC Bayern München 3
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Germany - Super Cup ‎(GERS)‎ Jul 27, 2013 Borussia Dortmund 4 - FC Bayern München 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ May 25, 2013 Borussia Dortmund 1 - FC Bayern München 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
1. Bundesliga ‎(GER1)‎ May 4, 2013 Borussia Dortmund 1 - FC Bayern München 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Thomas KraftGoalkeeper
23Danijel PranjicMidfielder
44Anatoliy TymoshchukMidfielder
28Holger BadstuberDefender
21Philipp LahmDefender
7Franck RibéryMidfielder
22Luiz GustavoMidfielder
25Thomas MüllerStriker
31Bastian SchweinsteigerMidfielder
10Arjen RobbenMidfielder
33Mario GomezStriker
11Miroslav KloseStriker
4Hamit AltıntopMidfielder
39Toni KroosMidfielder
16Andreas OttlMidfielder
5Daniel Van BuytenDefender
22Hans-Jörg ButtGoalkeeper
20Mitchell LangerakGoalkeeper
29Marcel SchmelzerDefender
15Mats HummelsDefender
4Neven SuboticDefender
26Lukasz PiszczekDefender
19Kevin GroßkreutzMidfielder
18Nuri SahinMidfielder
9Robert LewandowskiStriker
6Sven BenderMidfielder
19Mario GötzeMidfielder
19L. BarriosStriker
16Jakub BlaszczykowskiMidfielder
5Felipe SantanaDefender
8Antônio da SilvaMidfielder
7Markus FeulnerMidfielder
5Sebastian KehlMidfielder
41Johannes FocherGoalkeeper
Players to Watch
Luiz Gustavo
Luiz Gustavo
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 22
Games Goals YC RC
26 4 10 2
Who to choose on the Bayern side? There are so many. However, given that Dortmund's key player is Nuri Sahin, Luiz Gustavo will have a crucial job in the heart of midfield. Impressive in Milan in midweek, he looks to have secured a spot in his favoured position and if he can deny Sahin the space he needs to service the frontmen, Bayern will go a long way to having the upper hand.
Neven Subotic
Neven Subotic
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 4
Games Goals YC RC
10 0 1 0
The Serbian centre-half has formed an impregnable defensive wall with Mats Hummels this term but had a shaky game against Kaiserslautern, earning a red card. His return will be crucial if Dortmund are to combat the twin central threat of the free-scoring Mario Gomez and the wonderfully creative free-spirit that is Thomas Mueller.
Probable Lineups
Thomas Kraft 1
Danijel Pranjic 23
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk 44
Holger Badstuber 28
Philipp Lahm 21
Franck Ribéry 7
Luiz Gustavo 22
Thomas Müller 25
Bastian Schweinsteiger 31
Arjen Robben 10
Mario Gomez 33
Mitchell Langerak 20
Marcel Schmelzer 29
Mats Hummels 15
Neven Subotic 4
Lukasz Piszczek 26
Kevin Großkreutz 19
Nuri Sahin 18
Robert Lewandowski 9
Sven Bender 6
Mario Götze 19
L. Barrios 19
It's eminently possible to make a case for all three results and in such circumstances, a draw is perhaps the most likely outcome. Forget the talk of a possibly jaded Bayern, they will be right up for this match. Equally, Dortmund will want to underline their championship mettle and no quarter will be given on either side.
Editor's Prediction
Bayern 2
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
17 4
Mario Mandzukic Mario Mandzukic
17 0
Adrian Ramos Adrian Ramos
Hertha BSC
16 3
Josip Drmic Josip Drmic
FC Nürnberg
16 2
Stefan Kießling Stefan Kießling
15 2