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Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund preview; BVB face must-win game in Bundesliga

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This coming Sunday, two of Germany’s biggest teams will clash once again. When Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have gotten together lately, the match has been called der Klassiker,­­ a nod to Spain’s true rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Notice the word “true” in the last sentence. Madrid and Barcelona have met an astonishing 262 times in all competitions, including friendlies, with the Catalan club just edging in wins­­ 108 to Madrid’s 96. As a counterpoint, Bayern and Dortmund have played 108 times; the Bavarians notching 49 victories (20 more than die Borusse) along the way.

Pretty much everyone who writes about German football in English hates using the term “der Klassiker”. Instead, we are largely forced into it by editors and such. And yes, we are all mostly friends­­ or at least have become friendly over the years­­ as we’re a rather small group of individuals.

But I digress.

The rivalry between the two teams heated up in the 2011 as Juergen Klopp was busy leading his young group of players to storm the Bundesliga; which they did­­ winning the league in 2011 and the domestic double in 2012. In that period, BVB won this match­up five straight times, including humiliating FCB 5:2 in the ‘12 Pokal final.

Since then, however, Bayern has reinstated their league dominance with an emphatic treble-­winning 2013, followed by their own domestic double in 2014, and their third league title in a row the following season. In this stretch, Munich has put together seven victories to Dortmund’s four­­ two of those coming by way of the competitive ­friendly nature of the DFL­Supercup. (An “It only counts if you win” sort­-of­-match.)

SEE MORE: FOX Sports demotes Bayern Munich-Dortmund game to FOX Sports 2.

After the horror show of a season that the Black­ and­ Yellows had in 2015, they have been revitalized this year under new trainer Thomas Tuchel. Even top of the league for the first five Matchdays until stumbling; drawing against Hoffenheim and Darmstadt in their last two Bundesliga outings. Now four points behind Bayern Munich (with a perfect seven wins out of
seven), Sunday’s clash will be more about BVB trying to keep within arm’s distance of die Roten­­ as a loss would see them seven back. In October.

SEE MORE: View the Bundesliga TV schedule for soccer fans in the USA.

Meanwhile, Bayern have not been quite imperious as they would like to start the season­­ staving off Hoffenheim and Augsburg to seal late victories­­ they have shown up large when faced with what are traditionally known as the bigger teams; grabbing three goals over Bayer Leverkusen, and Robert Lewandowski’s nine ­minute, five­ goal destruction of Wolfsburg. But, Pep Guardiola has had the luxury of rotating his squad; something he wasn’t able to do last season, while impressing with game­changing second­ half substitutions.

I’ve been lucky to see a few of these matches in person over the last several years (Bayern’s won twice, and drawn once when I’ve been around), most notably the 2013 Champions League final in Wembley. Most of my friends in the press, like myself, chose not to get accreditation from UEFA; instead choosing to sit with their preferred side. All sitting opposite the stadium from me. I’ve never cried so hard, with so much joy, after the final whistle blew. It’s my all-­time favorite moment in football, in a career and a life full of them.

These matches are all generally testy affairs, full of passion and fun to watch, but let’s not call it der Klassiker­­ not yet. Let’s call Sunday’s showdown what it actually is: a must-­win for Borussia Dortmund.

SEE MORE: It’s time to appreciate the phenom that is Robert Lewandowski.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. R.O

    October 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Agreed that it’s shame (actually a disgrace) that FS is showing top Bundesliga game of the season on FS2.

    It’s not really a must win for the Schwarz-gelben. All BVB has to do is keep within 5 points going into the winter break. As for FCB having reinstated their League dominance, well they did like they have been doing since the mid-80’s; by raiding other teams for players and coaches. FCB is famous for that tactic.

    They’ve done to BVB in the late 90’s and did it again in the last 3 years. As a BVB fan I know I’m suppose to really hate Schalke but for me my biggest disdain, dislike and anti feeling is for FCB. I even went to the MLS All-Star in 2014 (Portland) only to Boo FCB and cheer for the MLS (rare for me to cheer for anything MLS). I even wore my BVB Jersey.

    Luckily the MLS All-Stars won. (I normally could care less about MLS All-Star games). FCB has never in the history of the Bundesliga won the title 4 years in a row. While they are off to a hot start, I have a feeling FCB won’t win the Title this year. It might be BVB or maybe even Wolfsburg. Schalke will fail at the end like they always do.

  2. Ivan

    October 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Not a must win for Dortmund, a draw will do them just fine, considering it’s an away game. They left off a couple of starters from the squad that tied PAOK in the Europa League accordingly.

    Can anyone stop Lewandowski?

    Shame that Fox decided to shove the game to FS2, thankfully I have the channel.

    Between Atleti-Real M, Everton-Liverpool, Arse-Man Utd, and BM-Dortmund, Sunday will be a hell of a day for football…

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