Sadio Mane the Finisher takes on ball winner Nico Schlotterbeck and old friends turned rivals in Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala – it’s Der Klassiker’s 107th Bundesliga run. But what are the strengths of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in this crucial match? Bundesliga Match Facts by AWS has an overview…
Matchday nine marks one of the greatest games in world football as the two dominant Bundesliga teams of the past decade, Dortmund and Bayern, meet again. Champions Munich have seemingly put a dip in form behind them, placing nine unanswered ahead of Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League. The former saw them slip past BVB in the standings.
Look: 5 things to know about Der Klassiker
It was the result of Borussia slipping to their third defeat of the league campaign against Cologne – their record after eight matchdays for eight years – as they again let a lead slip away. Their probability of victory, the last Bundesliga match fact, in the 53rd minute was 64%, while they were leading 1-0. Two minutes and two goals later, their chances had dropped to just 10%.
It means Bayern enter Der Klassiker above Dortmund in the table for the sixth meeting in a row, but only on goal difference this time.
Form is always on the side of the champions in this game. They have won 10 of the last 11 Klassikers in the league, including each of the last seven – the longest winning streak for either team in this game. The most recent encounter on Matchday 31 of last season was a 3-1 win at home to Munich, which saw Bayern crowned champions for the 10th consecutive year – the first time the title had been decided at Der Klassiker.
Lots of expected goals
Just looking at attacking stats, Bayern are leading in a number of areas. They are the division’s top scorers with 23 goals, while Dortmund are actually one below the league average of 12. Based on xGoals, BVB should actually be better off in the scoreboard, with their accumulated odds producing an xG of 16.1.
– DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga
This value is second in the division only behind Bayern, who actually exceeded their expectation of 19.9. It’s also despite a four-game winless streak where the team’s ability to create and convert chances has been called into question.
Mane, who arrives at Der Klassiker with a personal xG of 3.7 but four goals to his name, is one of the most notable players in terms of chances. Marco Reus tops the Borussia table with an xG of 2.5 and two goals scored. If he is fit enough in time for Saturday, it will be a huge boost for the hosts’ chances. Notably due to the league-record 60 goals he scored to give his side a 1-0 lead in games, and the eight he put ahead of Manuel Neuer – the most players scored against the German No. 1 in the Bundesliga.
However, the stats show Borussia need to be more clinical in front of goal. They have produced the second most shots in the division (118), but have the worst shooting efficiency of the 18 clubs, being 5.1 goals short of expected.
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These numbers are better for players in red, despite the aforementioned blip. They have had the most goal attempts in the Bundesliga by far (184), but are still 3.1 goals ahead of their xG, which puts them third in the division in this category. Musiala is the standout player for both teams in this regard, being the only Bayern or Dortmund player in the top 10 for shooting efficiency (+2.2, ranked fourth).
Will speed make the difference in 90 breathless minutes?
It was Jürgen Klopp who really introduced the concept of Gegenpressing – counter-pressing – to world football during his time at BVB, and helped make this match the title that it is. His principle remained at both clubs, after Bayern realized they had to fine-tune things to keep up. This can be seen in the number of chances they have had for counter-attacks or turnovers, with Borussia leading the division with 14 shots and FCB just behind with 12. Curiously, however, neither team has yet succeeded. to mark.
– DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga
Bayern appear to have the upper hand when it comes to leading – and stifling – potential breaks thanks to their many fast-paced players. Alphonso Davies is currently tied with Union Berlin’s Sheraldo Becker as the fastest man in the Bundesliga this season (22.4mph / 36.0kph). There are two other Bayern players in the top 10 in Leroy Sane (21.1mph/35.6kph) and Dayot Upamecano (21.9mph/35.3kph). Donyell Malen is the fastest player in black and yellow this season, ranking 11th in the league at 21.8 mph (35.1 kph).
Borussia may not win individual sprints, but their teamwork pace is unmistakable. They lead the division in most sprints per game (256 on average), while only two teams can beat them for intensive runs (BVB average 707 per 90 minutes). However, one of them is Bayern (720); the other is Wolfsburg.
Look: Davies eyes Klassiker’s next hit
Eyes on teen sensations
With the game being broadcast live in over 200 countries and territories, viewers around the world will have their eyes on different players. But everyone will want to see how Bellingham and Musiala get along. The 19-year-old are friends, former England youth internationals, but now on either side of major club (and international) rivalries.
They are also already world-class and mainstays in their respective teams. Their desire to get involved and dictate the game makes them the two most eager players in the Bundesliga. Bellingham – who has captained Borussia’s last two games – has been pressed more than anyone else in the division (168 times), followed closely by the mercurial Musiala (166). There are two other Bayern players in the top 10: Sane and Mane.
Bellingham and Musiala are used in different positions, but still have a big influence on the game. The former has won the most challenges of any player in the league (137) and ranks among the best players in the Skills Match category Fact ‘Ball Winner’.
On the other hand, Musiala does most of his work in the attacking third, running at defenders and creating chances for himself and others. He’s Bayern’s top scorer with five (already as many as he had in 2021/22) and still has three assists – only Union’s Becker has been directly involved in more Bundesliga goals (nine). The young German international took on the most challenges in the Munich red, winning in 51% of them. All this means that he is in both the “Finisher” and “Initiator” skill categories.
Look: Bellingham and Musiala – friends turned rivals
Solid defense and controlled passing
Both teams have done well defensively so far. Bayern conceded six goals, Borussia 10. This is also reflected in their xG against. The teams against the champions were only expected to score 7.8 goals – only Union boasts a lower xGA (7.5). BVB’s value is 9.6, which puts them fourth behind Cologne (8.5).
Both teams also have outstanding performers in new performance match facts under pressure. Niklas Süle, who swapped Munich for Dortmund this summer, managed to find a 79% exit from his pressure situations – the best rate in the division. His nominal replacement Matthijs de Ligt is Bayern’s best man under pressure and sixth in the league with a 75% escape rate. Midfielder Marcel Sabitzer comes one place below him with 74%.
It’s no surprise to see record champions enjoy dominating play. They lead the Bundesliga in average possession (62.8%) and pass success rate (88.4%), so that they are also the most effective ball distributors with a passing performance of +109.9. Die Schwarzgelben are actually in the red here, completing 6.6 fewer passes than expected, but that still ranks them fifth in the league.
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In terms of players, Joshua Kimmich (+24.1) and Thomas Müller (+18.2) lead the division in passing performance, meaning their potential inclusion on Saturday is even more vital for Bayern. Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard make them four FCB men in the top 10. BVB’s top passer is Julian Brandt (+7.4), ranked 19th in the division.
There are areas where Bayern are doing well, areas where Dortmund have the statistical advantage. It could all come down to those handsome margins when the pair meet at Signal Iduna Park for another massive Klassiker encounter.