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First against second

FCB looking forward to 'highly interesting game'

Saving the best till last! After its annual 16-day run, the 182nd Oktoberfest finishes on Sunday evening. At the Allianz Arena, 11 kilometres north of the fairground, FC Bayern round off the first phase of midweek games of this campaign. The two most successful teams of recent years cross swords (Live in English from 17.30 CET on Twitter and Web Radio): The German record champions face Borussia Dortmund in the undisputed top match of Matchday 8.

“It’ll certainly be a highly interesting game,” commented Thomas Müller before the duel between the table-toppers and second-placed Dortmund. “The fans are looking forward to it, you get the impression that not only the media, but the whole of the German football family are thrilled about Sunday because it's a close fight from the beginning this time,” added Müller. FCB are four points clear of the Black and Yellows, “but on Sunday the heat is on,” predicted Müller.

Lewandowski aims to continue his run

Müller's team-mate Robert Lewandowski is also looking forward to the encounter with his former club. “It’s a very important game for us. Of course it's extraordinary to me. I had four very successful years with BVB, with many goals and a number of titles. I've been at FC Bayern for over a year now and I hope we'll win,” commented the top striker, who wants to continue his streak of ten goals in the last three games.

While FCB beat Dinamo Zagreb 5-0 in the Champions League at home on Tuesday, Dortmund had a Europa League match away to PAOK Saloniki on Thursday, which ended in a draw. “We were clearly in the lead and reduced our speed for Dortmund at the weekend,” said Jérôme Boateng in view of the 4-0 half-time lead against the Croatians. But Pep Guardiola does not consider his team to have an advantage despite a longer recovery period. “Against Bayern everybody's always fit. We'll face the best BVB on Sunday.”

BVB unbeaten for 14 matches

Borussia too rested a few players. Five regulars stayed at home, and others were awarded a breather in Saloniki. After their most recent up-and-down campaign the Black and Yellows have regained their strength under new coach Thomas Tuchel and are unbeaten in 14 matches. The men from Dortmund are confident as they travel to Munich. “We're looking forward to it and trust ourselves to deliver our best performance on Sunday,” announced Tuchel.

 “We want to play well on Sunday and win the match if possible. I think it will be a great game. It helps that they don't play too defensively,” added Gonzalo Castro. Guardiola knows that Borussia's tactics have changed recently. Besides a well-practiced style featuring fast transitions, Borussia now favour “positional play with lots of possession,” analysed Guardiola, “they’re more in control now.”

The encounter between the only two unbeaten teams in this campaign is set to be a cracker. The last goalless draw was almost exactly eight years ago. Even if FCB manage to stretch their lead in the table to seven points, it would not mean the title race is over. “But it would be a good lead to have as we approach Christmas,” Müller concluded.