This German Clásico is a rarity - not only because Thomas Müller is missing. For the first time in more than a decade, FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund are not in the top 2 of the table in the explosive showdown between the two industry giants.
But the Bundesliga highlight is the ever-hot duel between Munich and returnee Joshua Kimmich with BVB for the shaky candidates Mats Hummels and Marco Reus anyway.
Goretzka: "Now we're the hunters"
"This is the game that football Germany looks forward to all year," said national player Leon Goretzka, who has a particularly emotional bond as a former Schalke player. "Now we're the hunters. But it's like the derby before. The situation in the table didn't really matter. It's about prestige - and about supremacy in German football." In view of the uncertain use of Kimmich after a corona infection, who, like Müller, has been tested, Goretzka and his leadership qualities are particularly important.
The winner of the classic on Saturday (6.30 p.m. / Sky) is enthroned at the top of the table for at least one night before Union Berlin and SC Freiburg can pass again. "It's an important game in terms of the table, and it's an important game as a sign," said Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann on Friday when he announced Müller's exit due to his remaining symptoms of illness. Nagelsmann played poker when Kimmich played. In what form the involvement of midfield boss Kimmich makes sense, you have to check carefully.
On September 12, 2009, when Munich, bottom of the table, won 5-1 at twelfth-placed Dortmund and neither of the two big names in the Champions League finished in the top 2 in the classic, a 19-year-old named Thomas Müller celebrated his first two Bundesliga campaigns. Gates. The new generation of future world stars like Bayern magician Jamal Musiala (19) or Dortmund director Jude Bellingham (19) stood somewhere on the threshold between kindergarten and primary school.
Nagelsmann raves about Musiala and Bellingham
"We can all enjoy that such young top talents are playing in the Bundesliga," Nagelsmann said of Musiala and Bellingham. "I'm assuming that both of them will continue to play the key roles they are currently playing throughout the season and that they are also of great importance for their national teams." The two recently met in a 3-3 draw between Germany and England.
Sky expert Dietmar Hamann describes Musiala as a "player of the century"; Germany's record national player Lothar Matthäus predicts great honors for both of them. "If they continue to perform like this, they will at least be nominated for the next Ballon d'Or election," said the Sky expert. The two 19-year-olds are definitely formative figures this season. "Both are very important," said Nagelsmann.
But both could not prevent their teams from appearing changeable this season. Neither rival was able to use the weak phase of the other - so success in a direct duel is all the more important. "It's a very nice game for all football fans in Germany. Now everyone can show what they're made of," said Munich Sports Director Hasan Salihamidzic. Borussia is also hot. "We're extremely keen on FC Bayern," said national player Julian Brandt.
After the high-scoring victories in the Champions League in Munich's 5-0 win over Viktoria Pilsen and Dortmund's 4-1 win in Seville, both top teams want to play in their first direct duel without Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland, who have moved away. Although Bayern have already scored an impressive 23 goals in eight league games this season, it remains to be seen how sustainable the new offensive concept featuring classic debutant Sadio Mané and Leroy Sané, who was outstanding against Pilsen, is. Serge Gnabry should appear again for Müller.
Dortmund's offensive is not up and running
BVB is doing much more difficult than Munich after Lewandowski in the post-Haaland season with only eleven goals. Anthony Modeste was not convincing, storm jewel Youssoufa Moukoko (17) is now even more in the spotlight. Without a goal in the Bundesliga, Karim Adeyemi, who was once courted by Bayern, celebrated his first BVB goal in the Champions League. Nagelsmann expects "three arrows" up front, but overall a more controlled game.
Leading player Bellingham, top duel in the Bundesliga, demands a similar performance from BVB as in Spain. "If we play like we did in Seville, we have a good chance of winning on Saturday," said the BVB pacesetter. At the age of 19, he led Borussia twice as captain, representing Reus.
On the other hand, Musiala delights with tricks and dribbles. "We have to keep the same performance over several games," Musiala warned as Munich's top scorer and top scorer. With his gala appearances, he makes Nagelsmann particularly happy: "He has made a great development."