It is the first Der Klassiker of the season on Tuesday night as Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich at the Signal Iduna Park in the German Supercup.
The two sides come into the match with contrasting fortunes. Bayern started their opening league fixture on Friday night with a 1-1 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach whilst Dortmund thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 on Saturday evening.
Bayern will be hoping to retain the Supercup after last year’s 3-2 thriller in which Joshua Kimmich settled the game with an obscure finish.
The Bundesliga champions have also won the last five Der Klassiker meetings and despite their poor form in pre-season, where they failed to win any of their games, they will still come into the game as favourites, but they are nowhere near nailed on due to their inconsistent form. Dortmund however, are coming into the game with all guns blazing and will be given an extra boost from the 25,000 fans in attendance.
Both sides have been ravaged by injury during pre-season. Nine first team Dortmund players missed the Frankfurt game and it is expected they will miss the game tomorrow as well. Axel Witsel had to deputise at centre back due to Dan-Axel Zagadou and Mats Hummels both out injured. The Belgian is expected to stay in the same position tomorrow night.
In his pre-match press conference, Marco Rose also confirmed that Thorgan Hazard is out of the game after picking up an ankle injury. That means that new signing Donyell Malen could make his first start for the club in his place.
Julian Nagelsmann has also had injuries to contend with but nowhere near the scale of Dortmund. Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso, Lucas Hernandez and Marc Roca will miss the game as they return from injury and Covid-19.
Nagelsmann will be hoping his leaky defence can hold tight after several disastrous pre-season games. The Bayern manager hasn’t put pressure on the club in public for more signings, but there have been rumours that he has been pushing for transfers internally as he is starting to become worried at the champions’ thread bare squad.
The Bayern defence will be put under immense scrutiny during the clash with Erling Haaland coming into the game with two goals and three assists from Saturday’s win. The Norwegian has been surrounded with intense transfer speculation all summer but it has clearly not impacted his form.
The traditional curtain raiser in German football is set to be an exciting game of football that is extremely difficult to call. Both teams have contested seven of the last nine Supercups. It has traditionally been Bayern who have won the first trophy of the season, beating Dortmund four times compared to Dortmund’s three wins.
There will also be tributes held before the game in memory of Bayern legend Gerd Müller, who died on Sunday aged 75 after a six year battle with Alzheimer’s. Müller became the all time leading scorer for Bayern with 566 goals in 607 games.
Der Bomber also held the record of most goals in a Bundesliga season – scoring 40 goals during the 1971-72 season. A record that stood for 49 years until Robert Lewandowski broke it in May. The striker will be hoping to get on the scoresheet tomorrow night in honour of one of the greatest players of all time.