Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich in the first meeting of the two teams this season and in the first quarter of the season, both teams have shown their weaknesses as well as their strengths. With a football match being a game with several smaller battles going on, today we will look at three key battles in the first Der Klassiker of the season.
Leroy Sané vs Borussia Dortmund’s left-back
Sané has probably been Bayern Munich’s most consistent player in the opening games of the season and is finally looking like the player that Bayern hoped for when he joined from Manchester City in 2020. Sané is currently the highest-scoring German in the Bundesliga with eight goals and has looked like Bayern’s game-changing.
While his opponent is up in the air, the primary left-back heading into the season was Ramy Bensebaini but the Algerian has struggled for most of the season, a trend that was seen last weekend against Eintracht Frankfurt when he struggled against compatriot Farès Chaïbi and Aurelio Buta.
Whoever is the starter for Dortmund will likely have their work cut out against Sané for the whole 90 minutes.
Harry Kane vs Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck
This will be Kane’s first experience of Bayern vs Dortmund and against Hummels and Schlotterbeck, who have been some of Dortmund’s most consistent players, the Englishman could be in store for a quiet 90 minutes.
Schlotterbeck has been trying to regain his place in the national team after being dropped by Julian Nagelsmann and the 23-year-old put in one of his best performances against Newcastle in the Champions League recently and against one of the best strikers in the world, Schlotterbeck will have the opportunity to try and impress Nagelsmann once again.
Dortmund’s attack vs Bayern Munich’s defence
Both are at their weakest this season. The injury to Matthijs de Ligt means that Bayern are left with one guaranteed fit central defender in Kim Min-Jae and with Dayot Upamecano returning to training it is unknown if he will be fully fit to start. This could potentially mean that Bayern are forced to play someone as a makeshift centre-back.
While for Dortmund their attack has regressed since last season the only consistent performer has been Julian Brandt while Karim Adeyemi, Niclas Füllkrug, Donyell Malen and Giovanni Reyna have not impressed during their features with only a handful showing flashes of their quality this season.
With the Bayern defence probably at the weakest it has been for a while, Dortmund will need a player to step up and lead their attack in such an important game.
It is safe to say this match-up could be summed up as the stoppable force vs the penetrable wall.
GGFN | Jack Meenan