With the annual fall Der Klassiker coming up, the entire Bundesliga world will be focused on this match which features Borussia Dortmund hosting Bayern Munich. The winner will be praised while the loser will be scrutinized and the content of the match will be a talking point as well. But with all of the typical Der Klassiker hype and media, whatever team needs the match the most will determine what happens on our tv’s this weekend. (The Klassiker will be televised in the USA on your local Fox channel kicking off at 12:30 pm ET Saturday).
The Bundesliga betting odds favour Bayern over Dortmund, but in games like this predictions and form can play second-fiddle to desire and intensity. The big question is – who needs the win more, Bayern or Dortmund?
Bayern’s Entering Der Klassiker
The status of Bayern heading into this classic appears to be no different then it has been in any of the recent games. The Bavarians are at the top of the table, with a sizeable lead over Dortmund already. They lead the league in goal difference while conceding only 6 goals all season long. All of this appears to be a typical Bayern start, but this is anything but typical with Leipzig only trailing the Bavarians on goal difference at the top. Also other clubs like Hoffenheim and Hertha Berlin are well within striking distance of Bayern.
Besides the multitude of title contenders, big names such as Thomas Muller haven’t performed up to par thus far for Bayern as Carlo Ancelotti looks for answers. For any other club Bayern’s start would get nothing but praise, but for the Munich club the standards are much, much higher. This is why Bayern’s home results against Koln and Hoffenheim and their away draw with Frankfurt were so surprising. Despite those results, the Italian has done a perfectly adequate job thus far, but not everyone is convinced that he can deliver with the high expectations in Munich.
The situation surrounding Bayern and Ancelotti is why this Der Klassiker is very important for them. A win against Dortmund would relieve some of the tension and ease any pressure on the Italian coach. Beating Dortmund would also allow Bayern to not have to worry about potentially having to catch up to the likes of Leipzig at the top. It would be great for fans to see Bayern have to play catch up like everyone else, but it wouldn’t be so great for Ancelotti.
If the Bavarians can beat Dortmund, they can cruise until the Leipzig clash in December, and it would make it much easier to balance the Champions League with the Bundesliga. But if Bayern draw or even lose to Dortmund and have to play catch up, resting players would suddenly become something Bayern wouldn’t be able to afford. All in all, a lot of Bundesliga games are of little importance to Bayern, but this one is not normal in that Ancelotti’s men need the three points.
Dortmund’s Status Entering Der Klassiker
The status of Borussia Dortmund heading into the match isn’t all that much different from Bayern’s in that they’ve had bumps this season. Thomas Tuchel has had somewhat of a difficult time meshing all of the new players that he brought in during the summer, which helps explain why the mighty Black and Yellows sit at 5th in the league. Combine that with the criticism he’s received for his postgame comments, the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saga and Marco Reus’ injury and Dortmund have had their own worries.
And now with Tuchel facing more scrutiny than ever before, he needs his side to perform just like they did last matchday against HSV. Games like those need to be more frequent than the disappointing games against Hertha, Ingolstadt, and Leverkusen, which saw Dortmund perform well below their high standards. A performance like the ones in either of those games will make it nearly impossible for Dortmund to win or draw against Bayern.
A win or draw against Bayern is exactly what Dortmund need at the moment to ease the tension within the club and finally talk about football again. If Tuchel can get a famous result this coming weekend then that would ease all of the pressure on him at the moment. It would also help Dortmund regain their form and rise back into the Champions League places. If Dortmund can win and subsequently obtain that form improvement, resting players during European weeks would be doable for them. But a bad loss to Bayern and a slip in the table, could result in having to play their stars a lot, which could have a season long impact.
Besides trying to rescue their league form, if Dortmund want to have any chance of beating out Bayern—or Leipzig—for the league this season, they need these 3 points. BvB are already pretty far away from the top of the league, and another loss would make the title almost unachievable this season. For a club like Dortmund that expects to be towards the top, being almost out of the title race before thanksgiving would be a disaster.
After analyzing both teams and where they stand heading into the match, it’s time to make a verdict. With all of the factors both in the past, present and future being accounted for, it seems like Borussia Dortmund need this game the most. Besides all of the reasons stated above, they will be seeking revenge as well. With the 5-1 thumping and the Pokal final defeat still on the minds of Tuchel and his players, they’ll have extra motivation this time around.
Also Dortmund has much more riding on this game with regards to the table then Bayern does, which is another reason they need it more. The Bavarian’s don’t have their title hopes potentially gone if they lose, as Dortmund does, and they don’t have most of the distractions that the Westfalenstadion club does as well. A crisis in Munich is never all that much of a crisis, but for BvB a loss here would give them a real domestic crisis. It was all three Bayern games last season that doomed Dortmund, which makes this upcoming game as big of a Bundesliga game as any.
With this in mind, Dortmund might play much more of an attack minded game than most teams do when they take on Bayern. If that’s the case, then this game will not only have the importance factor that makes it unique, but the entertainment value is going to be top notch. The Bundesliga is a league filled with talent, and with the two most talented teams playing entertaining football this could be a great weekend for Bundesliga fans.
Photo from official BvB website
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