Germany: Bundesliga
4 - 2
(3 - 0)
FC Bayern
T. Müller (18), T. Müller (23), K. Coman (50)
G. Kobel (13), E. Can (72), D. Malen (90)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund preview: Title-defining Klassiker

With one point separating the two teams, Saturday's Klassiker could be pivotal in the Bundesliga title race.

The contest also represents Thomas Tuchel's first game in the Bayern Munich dugout, and he will be looking to start his tenure with a positive result against his former side, Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern Munich

It proved to be an eventful international break for the perennial German champions after they made the surprising decision to sack Julian Nagelsmann. The 35-year-old lost his final game in charge, as Bayern gave up a narrow lead against Bayer Leverkusen. Joshua Kimmich gave the Bavarians the lead, but two second-half penalties were clinically dispatched by Exequel Palacios to condemn Bayern to their third Bundesliga defeat of the season. The result allowed Dortmund to leapfrog Bayern at the top of the table and ultimately led to the Bayern board deciding it was time for a change of coach.

Tuchel has been chosen as Nagelsmann’s successor, and six years after leaving Borussia Dortmund, he will begin his Bayern tenure against his former side. The ex-Chelsea manager takes over a Bayern side that are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the DFB-Pokal, while they are one point adrift of league leaders Dortmund.

Bayern will now have the chance to reclaim top spot when they face their rivals in Saturday’s Klassiker. The Bavarians can take confidence from the fact that the contest will take place at the Allianz Arena, where they are yet to lose this season. Their 16 home matches across all competitions have yielded 12 victories and four draws.

They have also won their last eight Bundesliga home meetings against Dortmund, scoring 33 goals across those victories.
Team News

Tuchel has confirmed that Jamal Musiala has returned to training and will be available after withdrawing from international duty with Germany due to a hamstring problem. However, the new Bayern boss will be unable to call upon Mathys Tel, who is set to miss two to three weeks with a muscle injury. Long-term absentees Lucas Hernandez and Manuel Neuer are also sidelined.

Borussia Dortmund

For the first time since the second matchday of the 2019-20 season, Dortmund are looking down at the other 17 teams from the Bundesliga summit. With nine games to go, the league leaders are beginning to dream about winning their first league title since the 2011-12 campaign.

Dortmund are still yet to lose a league game in 2023, having won eight and drawn one of their Bundesliga matches since the turn of the year. Die Schwarzgelben certainly entered the international break in a confident mood after thrashing FC Köln 6-1 at Signal Iduna Park. Sébastien Haller and Marcos Reus both netted braces, while Raphaël Guerreiro and Donyell Malen also got on the scoresheet.

Die Schwarzgelben ended a run of eight straight defeats in competitive meetings with Bayern when they snatched a point in the reverse fixture thanks to Anthony Modeste’s late equaliser to ensure October’s encounter ended in a 2-2 draw. Edin Terzic would most likely be content with picking up another point, but he will also be hoping his side can go one step further and claim a Bundesliga away win over Bayern for the first time since April 2014.
Team News

Terzic has revealed that Gio Reyna and Thomas Meunier are ruled out due to illness and injury respectively. There are also slight doubts surrounding the availability of Nico Schlotterbeck and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens.

Gregor Kobel, Salih Özcan, Julian Brandt, Karim Adeyemi and Youssoufa Moukoko could all return from a spell on the sidelines to feature in the matchday squad. Emre Can is expected to start after missing the win over Köln through suspension.

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