Strongest Bayern Munich XI to face Borussia Dortmund

It’s that time of the year again. The biggest game in the Bundesliga is back and this time, it already looks like a title decider. Dortmund are unbeaten in 7 games but trail Bayern Munich by 4 points already. A loss tonight and the point gap is going to be 7 and there is very little chance that it can be caught up once again.

Pep Guardiola rested key members v Dinamo and gave needed breaks to players who played the game as well. He has a squad which is raring to go and in top form. There is little doubt about the line up. In goal, there will be Germany’s #1 – Manuel Neuer. He will be called upon many times this game, to deal with the goal scoring threats from Marco Reus and Aubameyang. Bayern Munich have held a good defensive record in the league so far conceding just 3 times and Neuer is obviously one of the crucial reasons for that record and Pep will hope the record stays intact, making the defense even more stronger and harder to beat.

Manuel Neuer
Manuel Neuer

As I talk about the defense, you have to bear in mind that this is not even Pep’s first choice backline. He is missing key personnel in Badstuber, Martinez and Benatia. This has forced Pep to deploy Lahm back in RB positions in a few games while Alaba, the player who like Lahm would play any position superbly, was deployed alongside Boateng as the LCB. This pattern will mostly follow this weekend as well. Lahm, Boateng, Alaba and Bernat will make the backline. Javi Martinez played 45 minutes in the CL fixture, but I don’t think Pep will risk playing him so early along in this huge game.

Xabi Alonso and Arturo Vidal were given breaks and much-needed ones this midweek against Dinamo. They will be surely fully charged and raring to go. This will be Vidal’s first Der Klassiker and he will be looking to cap it with a win and probably a goal as well. Alonso, as we all know will be on deep lying playmaker role and his long balls and pinpoint passing which makes the team tick will be crucial to the mood and setting of the game that Pep wants Bayern to impose on Dortmund. The midfield duo will be key to the fact that Bayern are the one dictating play and not BvB.

Douglas Costa
Douglas Costa

Douglas Costa and Thomas Muller will mostly form the two flanks. Kingsley Coman has enjoyed a good starting period to his Bayern career, but I doubt he is ready for such a huge fixture, especially over quality players like Muller and Gotze. Douglas Costa will also be looking to keep his scintillating form going and show BvB the skills that he has shown most defenders who have come up against him. Bayern fans will be hoping Douglas does his magic tonight as well and that could be a problem that Dortmund could take advantage of as this could be too much pressure and could get to the head of the Brazilain. So far, he has shown he is calm and composed and it should hopefully continue.

Thiago will play in the hole behind the striker. Gotze has been in good form ever since the first international break, scoring for both club and country and is unlucky to miss out if he does feature on the bench. But in my opinion, Thiago is a better choice for this fixture. Gotze has not shown major positives when he has faced BvB while Thiago has more or less always been a game changer. Every game is different, yes, but Thiago offers more to the Bayern team especially in the system Pep plays.

There is no question as to who will lead the line. 10 goals in 3 games. 5 goals in 1, against last season’s runners-up that too in the space of 15 minutes. And of course, he also is an ex-BVB player who has scored in every game against them as well. Polish striker Robert Lewandowski will look to increase his goal tally in the Bundesliga this season and also against BvB.

Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski

Recently hit the 100 goal mark in Germany, the fastest by a non-German, the form of Lewandowski is red hot and could scald anyone who comes close. Dortmund have a herculean task to get even a draw tonight, it will be interesting to see what happens. Anything lesser than a win for Bayern is a down vote from my side.
Mia San Mia!

Written by Alankrith Shankar

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