Der Klassiker is a must-win game for Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich

Aditya Devavrat 09:56 06/04/2019
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Borussia Dortmund need a win in Der Klassiker.

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich meet in a potential Bundesliga title decider on Saturday in what is set to be a mouth-watering Der Klassiker.

Dortmund have a two-point lead after scoring two injury-time goals to beat Wolfsburg last weekend while Munich unexpectedly drew with Freiburg.

Here are the talking points for the game.

DORTMUND NEED TO GO ALL OUT IN MUST-WIN GAME

Usually, for a team with a two-point lead, a draw away from home against the second-placed side would be considered a good point.

But Dortmund aren’t going to feel safe with a two-point lead over Bayern for the rest of the season. It would require perfection from the remaining six games to win the title, because they can’t rely on the Bavarians to slip up – even if, as last weekend showed, it does happen.

Lucien Favre’s side need the five-point cushion a win would give them. Even if it’s equally true that they can’t afford to lose and fall a point behind, Dortmund will be better served risking going all out for a win.

Plus, despite their recent domestic dominance, Bayern have shown they can be rattled – they survived a bizarre midweek cup game against second-tier Heidenheim in a wild 5-4 win. The Black and Yellow need to take advantage.

BAYERN’S STARS NEED TO STEP UP

It wasn’t long ago that Bayern Munich faced a season-defining game and fluffed their lines. Last month, Liverpool came to Munich with the score at 0-0 going into the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie between the two sides. Niko Kovac’s side duly crashed out of Europe with a listless performance in a 3-1 loss.

James Rodriguez, Robert Lewandowski, Frank Ribery, Mats Hummels – all over the pitch there were big-name players shrinking on the big stage.

Dortmund aren’t quite Liverpool but they’ve already beaten Bayern this season – and that too, in a game where Munich twice took the lead. The Bavarians struggled in their Champions League group stage games against Ajax as well, failing to win on either occasion. That means in five meetings with teams close to their level in games that mattered this season, Bayern are winless. They can’t afford to make it six.

ALL EYES ON JADON SANCHO

While the big-game prowess of some of Bayern’s stars may be in doubt, it’s a Dortmund star who will be the centre of attention.

Jadon Sancho has been getting praise from all corners this season, and it’s been deserved – any time a 19-year-old is in competition with the likes of Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard for most assists in the top five leagues in Europe, the hype is justified.

But apart from a goal in Dortmund’s stunning 4-0 Champions League group stage win over Atletico Madrid, Sancho hasn’t quite shown the ability to lift his performance for a game like this. He had a relatively quiet game when these two sides met back in November, and had little impact in the two games against Tottenham that sent Dortmund out of Europe.

If he delivers on Saturday the hype train will go into overdrive. But he has a few questions to answer first.

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