It’s one of the highlights of the season as Bayern Munich host Borussia Dortmund at Der Klassiker, this time with a little extra spice as Bayern can clinch the title with victory. But what do the Bundesliga Match Facts tell us to expect from this edition of Germany’s biggest game?
bundesliga.com gives you a Match Facts analysis as the former takes on the latter in Der Klassiker once again…
Although Bayern are nine points clear of Dortmund and can claim the Meisterschale for the 10th year in a row, the two teams have been on equal footing since we entered 2022. The top two in the Bundesliga have both collected 29 points from their 13 league appearances in the Rückrunde with identical records of nine wins, two draws and two losses.
It is in attack that these two teams especially make their mark. Bayern have found the back of the net 89 times so far this campaign – just around the league record at this stage which they set in 2019/20. BVB are the second goalscorer with 76 goals. That tally only trails their 2019/20 tally after 30 rounds of 81 and is seven more than this season’s third-best attack, Bayer Leverkusen (69).
Bayern create more, but Dortmund more clinical
A look at the xGoals numbers tells us both the quality and quantity of shot chances they create. The Munich team are carving out opportunities like no other, with an xG value of 88.6. That’s the number of goals they were statistically supposed to score – and it’s almost perfect.
Things are very different looking at Borussia’s stats. Their xG value is only 58. They follow Leverkusen and RB Leipzig in this regard, but actually scored 18 more than expected. The difference between the two is a team’s shooting efficiency, and Dortmund lead the division in this regard as the most efficient team in front of goal. And by a certain margin, too. Die Werkself follow in second place with a shot efficiency of +8.9.
To put it another way, Die Schwarzgelben don’t tend to waste chances and actually put aside opportunities that seem unlikely. This trait is characterized by Erling Haaland. The BVB striker has the best individual shooting efficiency in the Bundesliga with +4.9. Broken down, that means he has scored 18 times despite his odds suggesting he should only have 13.1.
Again, for comparison, Robert Lewandowski is about as expected with 32 goals on an xG of 31.8. That includes hitting the woodwork a league-high eight times but, while appearing less clinical than Haaland, it shows he takes the risks that come his way and is also a sign of how many opportunities he has. ‘he gets.
Two dominant faces
Both teams score goals, but build their play on possession and passing. They see the ball more than any other side in the Bundesliga, with Bayern averaging 61% possession this year. Next come Dortmund at 57%.
The process of their building game is also methodical and also includes a high number of cross balls. BVB (31%) and FCB (30) play the highest proportions of passes that are moved to the left or right third of the pitch.
When it comes to the short passing game, Bayern are in a league of their own. They are far ahead in passing efficiency, finding a teammate 256.7 times more than expected statistically based on passing script. BVB are fourth in this regard with +64.6.
While Haaland is at Dortmund for the shot, Joshua Kimmich is at Bayern for the passing. No player in the Bundesliga has a more positive difference between completed passes and expected completed passes of +67.7.
Kimmich and Bellingham under pressure
And Kimmich is doing all of this despite immense pressure from the opposition. He was Bayern’s ‘most rushed player’ in 10 appearances this season, which is the most of all his teammates.
However, Borussia’s Jude Bellingham has been under the most significant opposition pressure in 13 games, almost half of his club’s appearances.
Still, that hasn’t stopped the midfield pair from having their say in attack. The German had a direct hand on 13 goals, while it’s 10 for the England international – both displaying world-class ability on the ball.
Sane, Gnabry and Haaland in several categories
This Klassiker will likely also come down to individual quality – and there are plenty of potential candidates for that here. Of the 40 Bundesliga players in the “Skill” Match Fact categories of “Finisher”, “Initiator”, “Sprinter” and “Ball winner”, 14 represent Bayern and Dortmund alone.
In the Red corner there are: Leroy Sane (Sprinter, Initiator), Serge Gnabry (Finisher, Initiator), Alphonso Davies (Sprinter), Dayot Upamecano (Ball winner), Kimmich (Initiator), Lewandowski (Finisher) and Thomas Müller ( Initiator), who are among the top 10 players in these skill categories.
Watch: New set piece threat and skill match facts explained
Blacks and Yellows are represented by Haaland (Sprinter, Finisher), Bellingham (Initiator), Julian Brandt (Finisher) and Marco Reus (Initiator).
And even with all that quality on the pitch, it might just come down to a free-kick at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern have scored seven free-kick goals this season – second only to Freiburg – and are 70% above the league average for such dead balls in the ‘Set Piece Threat’ game. Die Schwarzgelben are also in the dark here with five goals and 17% above average. They were even knocked out one last time in their 6-1 win over Wolfsburg, where they also scored from a corner kick.
Will it come down to precise set-piece deliveries, smart passing, clinical finishing or exceptional individual skill? We will find out on Saturday in Der Klassiker!