For once, Bayern-Dortmund showdown is not about top spot

football28 March 2024 10:10| © Reuters
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Nico Schlotterbeck and Kingsley Junior Coman © Getty Images

Saturday's "Der Klassiker" between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will unusually not be about controlling the title race or taking over the top spot in the German Bundesliga.

The two teams between them have won the last 14 league titles, but when the Bavarians host Dortmund at the Allianz Arena, each will be trying to save their domestic season.

Bayern are currently in second place on 60 points, a massive 10 behind Bayer Leverkusen, but have not yet given up on a record-extending 12th successive league crown.

However, no Bundesliga club has ever made up such a deficit at this stage of the season, and coach Thomas Tuchel's squad is also struggling with injuries.

Top striker Harry Kane was back in training on Wednesday after recovering from an ankle injury in a league game two weeks ago that ruled him out of two England friendlies.

The England captain, who joined for a Bundesliga record 100 million euros from Tottenham Hotspur this season in search of trophies, has already netted 31 times in the league and looks set to return on Saturday.

Keeper Manuel Neuer, however, is unlikely to be fit in time after picking up an adductor muscle injury while training with the Germany squad.

He completed an individual training session on Wednesday, along with teenager Aleksandar Pavlovic, who missed the Germany matches with tonsillitis.


Dortmund for their part are at risk of missing out on the top-four finish that would give automatic qualification for next season's Uefa Champions League.

The Ruhr Valley club are currently fourth on 50 points, one ahead of RB Leipzig, who take on Mainz 05.

Dortmund have their own absences against Bayern, with first-choice keeper Gregor Kobel ill and midfielder Marcel Sabitzer suspended.

Stuttgart, in third place on 56, face Heidenheim, while Leverkusen, unbeaten across all competitions this season, host Hoffenheim.