Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich Betting Preview
The first Der Klassiker of the season kicks off on the weekend of 10th November, matchweek 11 of the Bundesliga. The table is beginning to take shape now and Dortmund look like serious contenders for the first time since their 2013 Bundesliga victory. Bayern’s future is uncertain under Niko Kovac, with rumours about his job circulating every week.
The two sides met on three occasions last season, with BVB failing to beat their great rivals in any of them. Dortmund haven’t managed a win versus Bayern for two years, but this game should give us some clue as to whether last year’s fourth-placed finishers can push the champions harder this season.
Dortmund v Bayern: A Match Made In History
The first meeting between these two was in 1965, when a young Franz Beckenbauer missed a penalty for Bayern. Since then, the Bavarians have tended to dominate, with 25 wins compared to BVB’s 13.
This may be no battle for local pride – 600km separate the two cities – but the pair have been the dominant forces in German football and between them have won 21 of the past 24 Bundesliga titles.
The games have often been tempestuous affairs, notable for indiscipline and the odd war of words, and there’s a lot at stake in this first of the season, with both clubs in something of a transitional season.
The west German city of Dortmund is the venue, with the home fans hoping for a renaissance in this giant game. The long stretch in which the Westfalenstadion became such a fortress under Jürgen Klopp is already something of a distant memory and Bayern romped home 3-1 winners in the corresponding fixture last season.
BVB were unbeaten at home between the spring of 2015 and the autumn of 2017, a sequence which saw them win one Der Klassiker and draw the other two games against Bayern. That run came to an end mid-way through last season and Dortmund ultimately suffered four defeats in front of their own fans in 2017-18. If the side from the Ruhr are to genuinely challenge for the title this term, a return to unshakeable home form will be essential.
A Battle Of Two New Bosses In Der Klassiker
Both sides have new managers at the helm. Lucien Favre arrived at Dortmund in the summer with a reputation for attacking football and building solid defensive lines. The Swiss seems a perfect fit for BVB and has got off to a strong start, but only time will tell whether he can restore the club to the success seen during the Jürgen Klopp years.
Favre comes into his first Der Klassiker with a decent record against Bayern. He masterminded home and away victories against Munich back in 2011/12 when in charge of Borussia Mönchengladbach, and his side were the only team to avoid defeat against Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering champions of 2014.
Recent matches between BVB and Bayern have tended to see Dortmund under pressure for long periods, but Favre’s preferred style of playing on the front foot could transform his side’s fortunes in this rivalry at long last.
In the opposing dugout, Niko Kovac has struggled to get things going at Bayern. It's true that there are remarkably high expectations at the Allianz Arena, but given the talent at his disposal, Kovac should be doing better. 4 games without a win at the start of October was enough to start rumours about Kovac's position at Bayern. Since then, his team are unbeaten, but have still dropped points against Freiburg. His players are reportedly pushing the board for a replacement, but if they have any serious title ambitions this year, 3 points are needed at the Westfalenstadion.
The Bundesliga Talent On Show
Games between these two tend to guarantee goals, hardly surprising given the attacking talent which has proliferated them. Favre spent the summer scouring Europe for a long-term replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, eventually settling on Paco Alcacer. The on loan striker has hit the ground running, scoring 7 goals in 5 games as well as earning a recall to the Spanish national side.
At the other end, former Dortmund hero Robert Lewandowski will be looking to continue his formidable Der Klassiker record, needing three more goals in the fixture to equal Gerd Muller’s record of 14 - set by the Bayern legend in the 1970s.
Dortmund fans will be pleased with the attacking football that Favre has brought back to Dortmund. Christian Pulisic, Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus are a lethal combination going forward, while the defence has been bolstered by the summer arrival of Abdou Diallo to accompany Manuel Akanji at centre back.
Sebastian Rudy continues to grow in stature in the Bayern midfield, while Leon Goretzka arrived in the summer from Schalke and is bidding to establish himself as a regular. The pair represent the future of the Bavarian middle ranks but the tried-and-tested Alcantara and Martinez demonstrate the strength in depth which Kovač can call upon.
This match will be a true test of Lucien Favre's Dortmund side as he looks to bring Bundesliga glory back to west Germany.
*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting correct at the time of writing.