Dortmund v Bayern: Barcelona loanee Alcacer's return boosts hosts

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Alcacer has been in fine goal-scoring form this season.

Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund meet third-placed Bayern Munich in ‘Der Klassiker’ on Saturday.

Dortmund hold a four-point advantage over reigning champions Bayern heading into the Signal Iduna Park clash.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the main talking points ahead of the match.

Power shift

New coach Lucien Favre has hit the ground running in Dortmund with his side unbeaten after 10 matches. Dortmund can equal the club record of 11 Bundesliga games without defeat, set at the start of the 2002-03 season.

Bayern have been inconsistent compared to their usual high standards as new coach Niko Kovac has found it tough adjusting to the demands of the job. Bayern’s difficulties suggest they can no longer demolish Bundesliga teams at will.

Lucien Favre

Paco packs a punch

Spain striker Paco Alcacer is back to boost Dortmund after injury. Alcacer has been one of the form strikers in Europe since joining Dortmund on loan from Barcelona.

The 25-year-old has chiefly been used as a substitute and scored seven goals in his first four games, at an incredible ratio of one every 33 minutes. Alcacer was briefly slowed by a thigh injury, but his return to full fitness spells danger for Bayern.

Paco Alcacer

Paco Alcacer

Favourite fixture

If there is one player who loves this fixture more than any other, it is Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski. The free-scoring Poland international has made a habit of scoring in ‘Der Klassiker’.

Lewandowski hit a hat-trick when Dortmund thrashed Bayern 5-2 in the 2012 German Cup final, a feat he repeated in the Bavarians’ 6-0 win against his old club in March. Dortmund know stopping Lewandowski is key to claiming a first win over their great rivals in five attempts.

Robert Lewandowski.

Robert Lewandowski.

Midfield match-up

Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel has had a huge impact at Dortmund this season. Witsel moved to Germany in August after a curious seven-month stay at Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, and has weighed in with three goals as well as being Dortmund’s midfield enforcer.

How Witsel and Thomas Delaney fare against Bayern rivals Javi Martinez and Leon Goretzka in the midfield battle will go a long way to shaping the outcome of the contest.

Axel Witsel

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Marco Reus goal keeps Borussia Dortmund unbeaten at the top of the Bundesliga

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Borussia Dortmund remain unbeaten at the top of the Bundesliga after winning 1-0 at Wolfsburg.

Marco Reus headed the only goal of the game after 27 minutes. English teenage winger Jadon Sancho provided the cross for what was his ninth assist of the season.

Reus and Jacob Bruun Larsen both missed chances to extend the lead in the second half but one goal was enough and it moved Dortmund four points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich, after they could only draw at home to Freiburg.

Bayern, who have won the Bundesliga title for the past six seasons, lost more ground at the top following Lucas Holer’s last-minute equaliser. Serge Gnabry had put Niko Kovac’s side ahead in the 80th minute.

Leipzig regained third spot in the table after a 3-0 victory at Hertha Berlin. Timo Werner scored twice before Matheus Cunha added another goal late on.

Reiss Nelson, like Sancho also 18-years-old, is another young English talent also thriving in the Bundesliga and he scored his fifth league goal of the campaign as Hoffenheim won 4-1 at Bayer Leverkusen.

The on-loan Arsenal forward opened the scoring but Karim Bellarabi quickly equalised for the hosts. Joelinton’s double and a Vincenzo Grifo penalty sealed a comfortable victory for Julian Nagelsmann’s side.

Schalke returned to winning ways with a 3-1 home success against Hannover, their first victory in five league and cup matches.

All the goals came in the second half with Nabil Bentaleb opening the scoring form the penalty spot. Hendrik Weydandt equalised after 70 minutes but Hannover were level for only one minute as Breel Embolo restored the hosts’ advantage. Mark Uth’s strike five minutes from time put the result beyond doubt.

Augsburg and Nuremberg shared the points in a 2-2 draw. The hosts led twice through goals from Alfred Finnbogason and Jonathan Schmid but Alexander Fuchs and Lukas Muhl scored equalisers.

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See Jadon Sancho and Jacob Bruun Larsen gain special praise for Borussia Dortmund

David Cooper 21/10/2018
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Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre believes wingers Jadon Sancho and Jacob Bruun Larsen can now deputise for Marcos Reus and Paco Alcacer in his team.

Sancho scored after three minutes in Saturday’s 4-0 victory at Stuttgart, a match that Bruun Larsen started.

Watch Favre’s comments below:

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