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Excitement and tension

The big preview of the top-of-the-table clash at Dortmund

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On Saturday evening, the eyes of the footballing nation of Germany will be on Dortmund as FC Bayern travel to Signal Iduna Park for a top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash (live ticker and free Webradio from 12:30 PM EST on It’s all set to be a thrilling contest between the two arch-rivals, with FCB a point ahead of BVB at the top of the standings. “It's a sign when you're on top in games like this. As always, there's a lot at stake - there's prestige and now we're also next to each other in the table. We want to stay in front,” declared Bayern captain Manuel Neuer at the start of the week. Our preview has all the important info ahead of the meeting in Dortmund.

See the best images from Bayern’s final training session before the away match against Dortmund:

The situation for FC Bayern

After numerous weeks of midweek fixtures plus the international break in November, Bayern have finally had a full week of training since last Saturday’s 1-0 win at home to Bielefeld to prepare for the match against BVB. With the batteries recharged, the Bavarians are aiming to defend their pole position in the Bundesliga. “It’s a great situation for the league with the teams on 30 and 31 points. It’s going to be very exciting. Motivation will be extremely high in both camps,” said Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann in Friday’s press conference. The champions have had the upper hand in recent Klassikers, winning their last six games against BVB in all competitions. Should they make it seven on Saturday, FCB will stretch their lead at the top to four points.

The opposition: Borussia Dortmund

Borussia have closed the gap on Bayern at the top to a single points thanks to back-to-back league victories against VfB Stuttgart (2-1) and VfL Wolfsburg (3-1). At home, the Black and Yellows are on an impressive run of 11 consecutive Bundesliga wins. However, they’ve lost their last two league meetings with Bayern at Signal Iduna Park. “We know we need an absolutely top performance in every area. We need to work very well without the ball and defend against their attacking power,” commented BVB coach Marco Rose ahead of the game. His counterpart Nagelsmann, meanwhile, is expecting a match with differing phases. “I don’t think BVB will press us for 90 minutes, nor that they’ll sit back for 90 minutes.”

Watch Julian Nagelsmann’s pre-match press conference in full (in English):

The team news for Dortmund vs. FC Bayern

Bayern travel to Dortmund without Joshua Kimmich (coronavirus), Marcel Sabitzer (calf) and Josip Stanišić (thigh). Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who can leave isolation with a negative coronavirus test, and Bouna Sarr (adductor) are also not expected to be available yet, while there’s a doubt over Leon Goretzka. “We’ll decide on that today or during the day tomorrow. He’s got a niggling problem in his patella, it’s a matter of pain, so we need to make a call on whether he can play at 100 per cent. Only then does it make sense,” explained Nagelsmann. Youth product Gabriel Vidović, who would’ve been considered for the squad, misses out due to a hip injury. Tanguy Nianzou is expected to return to the squad following a shoulder injury.

BVB are without attacking trio Thorgan Hazard, Giovanni Reyna and Youssoufa Moukoko due to injury. Striker Erling Haaland is fit, although coach Rose is not expecting him to be able to play the full match yet. “We need to be cautious to a degree. It’s highly unlikely he’ll manage 90 minutes – we’ll see how long he can.”

What the coaches say

Julian Nagelsmann: “The match means a lot. Everyone’s aware of the importance. Dortmund are having an outstanding season, just as we are. It’s a top match, the excitement is very high and there’s the right amount of tension there. It’s going to be an interesting and fascinating match.”

Marco Rose (Borussia Dortmund coach): “It’s always exciting playing against Bayern. They’ve come into good form over the course of the season. We’ve managed to stay with them up to now and keep the gap short. Now we’ve got them at our own stadium, face to face. We want to try to hurt them and keep the three points here.”

The key facts and stats on the match: