The 2021/22 season’s first Klassiker takes place on Tuesday night, as DFB-Pokal winner Borussia Dortmund face Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich at the Signal Iduna Park.
It’s been a less than satisfactory start to the Julian Nagelsmann era at the Allianz Arena, with Bayern having endured a winless pre-season before only managing a 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach on matchday one of the new Bundesliga season.
BVB, on the other hand, have won their last three and got domestic matters off to a thrilling start by thrashing Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2.
Beating their old foe would be key in maintaining their positive momentum, and here’s the lineup that Marco Rose could opt for in a bid to do just that.
Gregor Kobel (GK) – Enjoyed an impressive season at Stuttgart last term and earned a move to BVB this summer. Seems to be the preferred option between the sticks and should start on Tuesday.
Felix Passlack (RB) – Scored an own goal in Dortmund’s league opener, but was otherwise a solid performer and, with Thomas Meunier and Mateu Morey unavailable, is nailed on for another start.
Axel Witsel (CB) – We won’t see the best of Witsel in the centre of defence but, with Mats Hummels and Dan-Axel Zagadou out of action, Rose’s hand has been forced slightly.
Manuel Akanji (CB) – At least the Dortmund boss has one natural central defender, eh? Akanji was impressive with Switzerland at Euro 2020 and will be hoping for a similar 2021/22 season.
Nico Schulz (LB) – The previously sidelined Raphael Guerreiro is back in training ahead of Tuesday night’s clash, although is unlikely to be ready for competitive action – meaning another opportunity for Schulz.
Jude Bellingham (CM) – We all know what the 18-year-old injects into a team and, after an astonishing progression throughout his maiden BVB campaign last term, he should be considered one of the side’s most important assets.
Emre Can (CM) – Back from injury after missing Dortmund’s first match of the campaign and could come straight into the side, providing Rose with the option of bringing Witsel back into midfield or using Can in a straight switch.
Gio Reyna (AM) – Capable of producing the unexpected, Reyna is a dangerous player to face and, having been influential in his side’s thrashing of Frankfurt, should be in line for a starring role on Tuesday night.
Thorgan Hazard (RW) – Didn’t produce his best for Dortmund throughout the 2020/21 campaign but looks in good form at the moment, having already struck in the Bundesliga.
Erling Haaland (ST) – This man never seems to be out of form. Another two strikes and two assists in BVB’s 5-2 opening say win see his tally rise to 62 goals and 18 assists in just 61 appearances for the club. Silly.
Marco Reus (LW) – A staple of Borussia Dortmund’s modern era, Reus continues to perform for the club he’s been at for nearly a decade. Opened the scoring last time out, and should once more feature for the side.