Created on 03-11-2017 at 15:00 PM by Redaktion
First against second, league champions against cup winners – or simply a “classic”, as Jupp Heynckes described it. On Saturday evening (18:30 CET, live on Ticker and Webradio), leaders FC Bayern take on their nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park. “It’ll be a game in which every ingredient of modern football will be on show,” predicted Bayern coach Heynckes.
The record champions were five points behind BVB three weeks ago but the table looks very different now ahead of their clash. While the Reds have won all three of their games since Heynckes returned to the dugout, Dortmund have lost two and drawn one. A five-point deficit has turned into a three-point lead which could increase to six on Saturday.
Heynckes hoping for further improvement
“We have big ambitions, we want to continue our winning run,” stated Heynckes on the eve of the match, well aware that “our opponents will certainly have something to say about that.” Heynckes doesn’t want to read too much into the recent form of the two sides. “When two teams of this calibre meet, what’s happened before goes out of the window. You can’t be so naïve as to go there and think that Borussia will cave in and we can win with one eye shut.”
The 72 year-old tactician, whose last encounter with the Black and Yellows was the victorious Champions League final at Wembley in 2013, is expecting “a very intensive and close-fought match. For me there’s no clear favourite.” Heynckes is sure that BVB will “try to perform differently than in recent weeks” in front of their own fans and hopes “we can improve again on Tuesday’s game. I want my team to go the extra mile.”
Lewandowski is “fired up”
Four days after the 2-1 win at Celtic, Bayern can call on Robert Lewandowski again in Dortmund. The goal-getter has trained well in the last few days and has “got his strength back”, reported Heynckes. “Robert is fired up.” Therefore the treble-winning coach looks set to pick his strongest available eleven in Dortmund and they will travel with great confidence. “It’s always an extra motivation and a bonus if you can increase your lead at the top of the table,” commented goalkeeper Sven Ulreich.
Heynckes’ opposite number Peter Bosz also has his current strongest line-up available, although the Dutchman will be without long-term absentees Marco Reus, Lukasz Piszcek, Sebastian Rode and Eric Durm as well as the suspended Dan-Axel Zagadou. “Everyone else can play tomorrow,” confirmed Bosz on Friday, meaning World Cup winners Mario Götze and André Schürrle as well as EURO 2016 winner Raphael Guerreiro are available.
After three Bundesliga games without a win, Bosz is hoping for an upturn in the top-of-the-table battle with Bayern. “Maybe this game has come at the right time. We can completely change the mood. If we win we’ll be top of the table again, and we’ll give everything to do that,” said Bosz, who called for a brave performance from his side. “There’s no doubt that if you’re not brave against Bayern, you have no chance.”