Tuesday’s "Klassiker" is perhaps the closest we’ll come to a title-decider this season, and while the behind-closed-doors aspect of proceedings will likely dilute the intensity somewhat, this game still has almighty ramifications for the rest of the season.
A Bayern victory will likely spell the end of the title race. Hansi Flick has done a superb job since taking over from Niko Kovac, and opening up a seven-point gap over Dortmund and Leipzig will make things very difficult for the chasing pack.
However, a Dortmund victory would blow the whole thing wide open, and that’s surely what every single neutral wants – not to mention Leipzig, Leverkusen and even Gladbach. Should Bayern falter, we could have a multi-team title race on our hands.
However, while it’s not the result the masses will be baying for, my pick for this is Bayern to win and both teams to score.
Bayern have a very good record against Dortmund in recent years – winning eight of their last 11 Bundesliga meetings, and an empty Signal Iduna Park will only aid them further, with the passionate home crowd one of Dortmund’s main driving forces.
I’ve been impressed with Lucien Favre’s men, but Bayern’s experience, know-how and nous will see them win this.
The resurgent Thomas Muller will be key here, as the 30-year-old has produced a mighty 17 assists in the league—more than anyone else—and he’s key in getting the best out of Robert Lewandowski and co.
59% of Bayern’s games have seen both teams score, while Dortmund’s figure is 52%, but looking at the way Flick’s men defended against Frankfurt at times, I’m quietly confident that the hosts will at least score, particularly with danger man Erling Haaland amongst their ranks.
However, looking at Bayern’s record against Dortmund, coupled with their own firepower, an away win with both teams scoring looks a good bet.
Robert Lewandowski has scored nine goals in his last four league games against Dortmund, and his form this season has been superhuman.
There’s only so much you can do to stop a man who has found the net 27 times in 25 games this campaign, and he’ll know another big performance on Tuesday will likely win his side the league.
The Pole to score a brace, like he’s done on many an occasion against Dortmund, is my second play.