What: German Bundesliga
Who: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich
When: Saturday 23rd November, 2013, at 17:30 UK Time
Where: Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany

Must Win

Borussia Dortmund welcome Bayern Munich to the Westfalenstadion in what is their most important game of the season so far. Under Josep Guardiola, die Roten have picked up right from where Jupp Heynckes left off at the end of last season, topping the Bundesliga chart after twelve rounds in which they managed to collect 32 points. Knowing that they find themselves four points behind the current treble holders, this game has quickly turned into a must-win for Dortmund should they want to slash the gap between themselves and Bayern Munich.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were arguably the team that were most hit by the “FIFA virus” over the international break, losing Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer to injury, with key players such as Ilkay Gundogan still in the infirmary for die Borussen. Klopp will undoubtedly rue his luck over his inability to pick these players, as he will be facing a very tough game against a team which Gundogan himself referred to as probably the most difficult to play anywhere at present.

“Bayern are the most difficult team to play against in Germany, maybe even the whole of Europe”, commented the midfielder.

Rampant Run 

Guardiola was not mistaken when he declared recently that he had inherited a “perfect squad” from predecessor Heynckes. The reigning European champions have shown that they are the team to beat this season, but will find things hard against a Borussia Dortmund side that will do everything in their power to make things a nightmare for them.

Indeed, Bayern Munich’s last visit to Dortmund ended on a sour note as they lost 4-2 against their opponents in the German Super Cup. Knowing this, die Roten’s players will be extra motivated to avenge that result, and forward Thomas Muller declared that his team will be aiming for a win against Dortmund. “Obviously it’s something very special and no ordinary game. We’ll put out a strong, competitive team. We’re aiming to win!”, declared the German.

Bayern Munich have had some bad luck of their own too as Ballon d’Or nominee Franck Ribery misses this game after having picked up an injury while on international duty with France. Borussia Dortmund have a perfect record in their last six league home games, and their recent record on their own turf against Bayern Munich favours them heavily, as they have won four out of the last six games, losing only once.


Recent form

Borussia Dortmund:
Borussia Dortmund 6-1 VfB Stuttgart (01/11; Bundesliga)
Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal (06/11; Champions League)
Wolfsburg 2-1 Borussia Dortmund (09/11; Bundesliga)

Bayern Munich:
Hoffenheim 1-2 Bayern Munich (02/11; Bundesliga)
Viktoria Plzen 0-1 Bayern Munich (05/11; Champions League)
Bayern Munich 3-0 Augsburg (09/11; Bundesliga)

Key absences

Borussia Dortmund: Zlatan Alomerovic; Marian Sarr; Ilkay Gundogan; Mats Hummels; Marcel Schmelzer

Bayern Munich: Claudio Pizarro; Xherdan Shaqiri; Lukas Raeder; Patrick Weihrauch; Thiago Alcantara; Holger Badstuber; Franck Ribery

Players to watch

Borussia Dortmund – Robert Lewandowski: The Polish striker will be facing the team he is all set to join next season. On this occasion however, his allegiance still lies with Borussia Dortmund, who will be keen for him to help slow down the Bayern Munich juggernaut. 

Bayern Munich – Mario Gotze: One man that will heavily be booed will be Gotze. Borussia Dortmund fans are still bitter towards their former star over the way he decided to announce his transfer before the big Champions League final showdown between the two sides.

Match Prediction

Bayern Munich have been admirable this season in Germany, but should face a stern test when playing their rivals. However, Klopp’s starting line-up will be devoid of some of its usual stars, and both teams may share the spoils at the end of the day.

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