Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich: Combined XI of Der Klassiker
For the first time in arguably five years, we're looking forward to an unpredictable and iffy Der Klassiker. Borussia Dortmund's rabble-raising start to the campaign has laid down an early season marker and threatens to upset the applecart in the Bundesliga.
Couple that with Bayern Munich's inconsistent run in the league, this is also a first in a while where the odds are stacked against them rather than in their favour and the BVB are above their mighty rivals.
Dortmund's prolific attack has been the driving factor behind the successful beginning, plundering a mammoth 30 goals in 10 games and conceding only 10. Moreover, they're the only side in the league still unbeaten!
The Bavarians, contrastingly, are still struggling to find their feet under Kovac who's already feeling the heat after an unconvincing run that's yielded only two victories in the last six league games. Another setback at the Signal Iduna Park could open up a seven point deficit at the top of the table.
So it's a daunting Dortmund against a desperate Bayern: sounds interesting, for a change.
Here's how the teams stack up in a combined XI ahead of Der Klassiker: (4-4-2 diamond)
Goalkeeper: Roman Burki
Manuel Neuer might be one of the greatest goalkeepers of this generation, but Roman Burki is thriving in a better vein of form currently. The Swiss shotstopper averages three saves per game compared to Neuer's one, whereas he also boasts four cleansheets compared to the latter's three.
Burki has clearly been the busier of the two, but more importantly, he has stepped up to the plate for the Yellow Submarine and would have to replicate those heroics again in what's set to be his toughest test this season so far.