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Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund: 5 key battles to watch out for

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund go head-to-head in a potential title decider
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund go head-to-head in a potential title decider
ANALYST
Modified 25 May 2020
Top 5 / Top 10
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Bayern Munich will take on title rivals Borussia Dortmund in what promises to be a mouth-watering clash in Tuesday's edition of the Bundesliga.

Bayern Munich currently sit pretty on top of the Bundesliga table but Borussia Dortmund are hot on their heels and will look to make full use of Tuesday's opportunity.


Bayern Munich - Borussia Dortmund form guide

Both sides are in exceptional form heading into the game. Under Hansi Flick, Bayern Munich have recorded 8 wins on the trot and will look to add a ninth to bolster their title charge. Dortmund have also won their last 6 games and while there are a few chinks in their armour, the team's explosive attacking prowess under Lucien Favre has more than made up for it.

The last two encounters between the rivals have been anything but close, with Bayern Munich scoring a total of nine goals and asserting their dominance in German football. The Bavarians might be favourites by a small margin, but Borussia Dortmund have plenty of firepower in their arsenal. Both sides are littered with glittering talent which is sure to result in some enthralling individual battles on the pitch.

Here, we take a look at five of the best.


#5 Jadon Sancho vs Benjamin Pavard

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Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho's injury means that he may not be at his best

Borussia Dortmund prodigy Jadon Sancho is set to return for his first start against Bayern Munich on Tuesday. The England international will be up against French right-back Benjamin Pavard, who has developed into a fine right-back under Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick.

Under normal circumstances, Sancho would win this battle without much of a fight. However, the winger is returning from an ankle injury and while he did impressive against VfL Wolfsburg over the weekend, Bayern Munich's defenders may be able to nullify his pace and trickery.


#4 Thomas Müller vs Emre Can

Müller and Can are teammates for Germany and know each other quite well
Müller and Can are teammates for Germany and know each other quite well
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Thomas Müller has experienced a stunning renaissance under Hansi Flick this season. The German international, who was staring down the barrel after being neglected by Nico Kovac and forced out of the national team, has rediscovered his old self and is looking as hungry as ever.

Bayern Munich's Raumdeuter, as Müller is popularly known, has been devastating against Borussia Dortmund in the past. The attacking midfielder will be up against former national teammate and friend Emre Can, who will have his task cut out for him. It is very likely that Can will follow Müller like a hound throughout the game, and an exciting duel is all but certain.


#3 Achraf Hakimi vs Alphonso Davies

Hakimi and Davies have been revelations for both sides this season
Hakimi and Davies have been revelations for both sides this season

Under Lucien Favre, Borussia Dortmund have found new heroes in two young wing-backs, Achraf Hakimi and Raphael Guerreiro. Hakimi, in particular, is making a name for himself by getting on to the scoresheet with astonishing regularity.

The Moroccan will be up against Bayern Munich's Canadian sensation Alphonso Davies. The left-back's electric pace and physique make him the perfect counter to Hakimi's skill and poise. Alphonso Davies had been used to nullify Achraf Hakimi under Niko Kovac and Hansi Flick will do well to take a leaf out of his predecessor's book.


#2 Erling Haaland vs Jerome Boateng

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Erling Haaland has hit the ground running with Borussia Dortmund
Erling Haaland has hit the ground running with Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund appear to have a knack for identifying and signing lethal strikers. Paco Alcacer was sensational last year, but the club seems to have pulled a rabbit out of the hat by signing Erling Haaland earlier this year.

The Norwegian has obliterated everyone in his path so far in Germany and continues to be Dortmund's most potent attacking threat ahead of Der Klassiker. Haaland has scored a stunning 41 goals in only 35 appearances for Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund this season and it is statistically very probable that he will find the net against Bayern Munich.

The mere prospect of facing the in-form striker is likely to send a shudder down Jerome Boateng's spine. The Bayern Munich defender was largely at fault for the team's defensive horror show against Eintracht Frankfurt and will need to pull up his socks against Erling Haaland.


#1 Robert Lewandowski vs Mats Hummels

Hummels and Lewandowski find themselves on opposing sides of the divide for a change
Hummels and Lewandowski find themselves on opposing sides of the divide for a change
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Erling Haaland may have shaken the football world with his exploits this season but he will still not be the most prolific striker on the pitch come Tuesday. Robert Lewandowski is making scoring look like child's play as he has been toying with the Bundesliga's defenders for several seasons. Bayern Munich's Polish striker seems to improve with age and his former team will not be happy to face him yet again.

Robert Lewandowski will be up against his former Bayern Munich teammate Mats Hummels. Lewandowski and Hummels have been teammates far more often than they have been opponents in their career. However, if there is one Dortmund defender who can take on Bayern Munich's hitman, it is the experienced Hummels.

There is nothing more apt than a good old friends-to-foes duel to personify the rivalry between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. With both teams in stellar form and explosive players all over the pitch, the lack of deafening cheer in an empty Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday may just be compensated by a dose of pure quality.

Published 25 May 2020, 17:33 IST
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