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Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich Bundesliga Match Preview
DORTMUND CLOSE GAP AHEAD OF THE BIG GAME
Borussia Dortmund’s win over Darmstadt in midweek, coupled with Bayern’s shock home defeat to Mainz, has blown the Bundesliga title race wide open. Coach Thomas Tuchel know’s that if his side can inflict the second setback of the week on Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering XI, then they will sit just two points behind the Bavarian’s going into the final part of the campaign. After Wednesday game Tuchel explained to reporters that; “The advantage is smaller now, but the game on Saturday has no more significance because of what happened. We would have approached the game with the same excitement, just now we have a better situation in terms of the table. We worked hard to be in this position and we’ve been consistently taking points for the last few weeks. It’s up to us now to take the next step. Obviously, we’re going to give it everything to cut the deficit further.” What was once a gaping hole between the reigning champions and the rest in terms of league positions, is now slowly being filled-in by Dortmund who are currently quoted on the best sports betting sites at *11.00 to win the title.
BAYERN ALL SET FOR SUPER SATURDAY
Big games call for the big players to step up to the plate and Bayern Munich will need all theirs to be on top form going into the cauldron atmosphere of the Signal Iduna Park Stadium. Guardiola’s team could not hide their disappointment after Wednesday’s shock defeat at the Allianz Arena brought to an end their 17 game unbeaten run, but striker Robert Lewandowski (*4.75 on the best football betting sites to open the scoring on Saturday) remained upbeat when he stated that; “”I’m sure we’ll be more effective and better on Saturday. We’ve still got more points [than Dortmund], but it’s going to be a very important game for the future.” His battle against fellow striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to be one of the highlight’s in a match that is too close to call. Of course Guardiola has been involved in so many games of this magnitude throughout his career both as a player and a coach, but what recently looked as though it was going to be straightforward last few months in Germany, has become that much more difficult.
Dortmund may draft in Sven Bender to replace the injured Sokratis in the heart of the defence and it looks to be a straight choice at left-back between Marcel Schmelzer and Erik Durm. Both Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were rested for the trip to Darmstadt and both should return to the starting XI on Saturday.
For the visitors, Arturo Vidal could return to the midfield as he continues his comeback from injury. Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez and Holger Badstuber are all still sidelined. Apart from those three omissions, Guardiola has a full-strength squad to pick from.
DER KLASSIKER SQUADS
Borussia Dortmund (from) Weidenfeller, Hummels, Subotic, Durm, Ginter, Gundogan, Castro, Weigl, Passlack, Ramos, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Leitner, Bender, Sahin, Kagawa, Schmelzer, Bonmann, Bürki
Bayern Munich (from) Neuer, Starke, Ulreich, Rossi, Hundertmark, Rafinha, Bernat, Lahm, Alaba, Friedl, Scholl, Alcantara, Ribery, Costa, Xabi Alonso, Rode, Vidal, Coman, Dorsch, Kimmich, Weihrauch, Green, Benko, Lewandowski, Robben, Muller, Steeven Ribéry, Pantovic
HEAD TO HEAD
Dortmund will be looking to erase the painful memories of the 5-1 hammering they received at the hands of Bayern in the first league meeting back in October. Their last home league win against the champions was back in April 2012, although they have enjoyed cup success over Bayern in front of the Signal Iduna Park faithful more recently. A goal by former Dortmund striker Lewandowski was enough to give Bayern all three points in the corresponding fixture last season. In 102 meetings, Bayern has 47 wins to Dortmund’s 27.
Borussia Dortmund 3.10 Draw 3.40 Bayern Munich 2.30
*odds courtesy of Bet365
By: Steve Mitchell