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Der Klassiker

Top performance required

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It’s crunch time! The next three weeks will have a big say in what happens in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League. FC Bayern face Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid twice in that period, starting with the top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash against Dortmund at the Allianz Arena on Saturday (18:30 CET, live ticker and Webradio commentary). “We want to attack and play with intensity, we want to win,” stressed Carlo Ancelotti ahead of the so-called ‘Klassiker’ of German football.

For Bayern it’s clear: a win against fourth-placed BVB would be the best preparation for the Champions League meeting with Real Madrid on Wednesday. “If we play well against Dortmund, our confidence for the next game will be greater. We need our best performance to win,” said Ancelotti, who regards BVB as “one of the best teams in Europe”.

“The best weeks of the season”

It’s a battle between the two teams who have shared the title over the last seven years (five for FCB, two for BVB). It’s also a battle between the two top scorers in the league (Lewandowski vs. Aubameyang). Ancelotti believes Thomas Tuchel is “one of the best coaches in Europe. His team is very well-organised, offensively and defensively.”

Yet Bayern are full of confidence going into the game despite losing for the first time since the winter break in midweek. “I was pleased with the players’ performance and their mentality despite the unfortunate defeat in Hoffenheim,” said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “Now we need to show those qualities when it matters. We need to make sure we get to experience the best weeks of the season.”

“In top shape”

Ancelotti assured that his team is 100% focussed on the match against Dortmund. “We have enough time afterwards to prepare for the game against Real Madrid.” The Bayern coach is feeling confident and calm about the decisive weeks ahead. The squad is also filling up again. “We know that we have some very difficult games but I have a lot of confidence because we’re in top shape at the moment,” he said. “I’m sure my team will give their best.”