It’s time to Der Klassiker! Sorry if you are one of the mainstream types who hate the name, but it has become more and more appropriate over the years. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are widely recognized as the two biggest clubs in Germany, and this is by far the biggest game in the league. When these two teams face off, football as a whole takes notice.
Hansi Flick has never lost to Dortmund since joining Bayern, but there is always a first time for everything. So, far from taking it easy, he’s probably going to go all out for this game. What does that mean? Well, let’s take a look.
Let’s dive right into the planned lineup, because that’s what you’re here for.
With Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller in the lead, Bayern have a real ram ready to face Dortmund’s defense. The question is, who will feed them with wings? Kingsley Coman was rested against Koln to be fit for this game, so he’s virtually guaranteed to start. So that leaves Serge Gnabry or Leroy Sane on the other side.
Gnabry has just returned from a long layoff due to a muscle injury, but he scored a few goals in his last game and could be mentally well placed to start. Sane, meanwhile, didn’t really enlighten him against the Billy Goats. However, he has had some good performances against Coman over the past few weeks, and he’s probably fitter than Gnabry at the moment.
Who will Hansi choose for? Well, considering how he’s approached substitutions this season, I have a feeling Gnabry will get the sign ahead of Sane. As long as Gnabs is in good shape, he is a better defender than Sane, which will be crucial in protecting Bayern’s right flank against the threat of Jadon Sancho. Leroy can still become a sub, and that’s actually what he did the last time Bayern faced BVB. As a former Schalke man, the 25-year-old probably wants a chance to start against his nemesis – but practicality trumps desire. We’ll go with Gnabry for this one.
This is the only point of ambiguity in the range, the rest being relatively straightforward. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka will start in the pivot, while the last four will likely remain unchanged. Alphonso Davies will start at left-back, with David Alaba and Jerome Boateng at center-back. Instead of the calamitous Sarr, Niklas Sule is the main candidate to start at right-back at the moment.
To complete the roster, there will likely be captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. He’s had an insane number of clean sheets ruined by a terrible defense this season – I hope the poor man eventually gets one on Saturday.
Here is the complete range planned, in all its glory:
Also check out our preview of the game on the BPW podcast!
A few minutes after this article was posted, we received an update from BVB. Looks like Jadon Sancho, Giovanni Reyna and Raphael Guerreiro won’t be traveling with the squad. I could have told us a little earlier, but okay.
Unfortunately, Jadon Sancho, Raphaël Guerreiro and Gio Reyna will not travel with the team to Munich.
– Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) March 5, 2021