The two rivals head into Der Klassiker level on 15 points from eight matches, with Bayern one spot ahead of their forthcoming opponents due to boasting a significantly superior goal difference.
Despite losing two of their last three league matches, Dortmund should still head into their meeting with Bayern full of confidence, especially having bagged an impressive 4-1 win away to Sevilla in the Champions League in midweek.
England international Jude Bellingham, who captained BVB in Seville, became the first ever teenager to score in three successive Champions League matches, with Raphael Guerreiro, Karim Adeyemi and Julian Brandt all getting themselves on the scoresheet, too, as Edin Terzic‘s side bounced back from their disappointing 3-2 defeat away to FC Koln last weekend.
Dortmund had plenty of players absent through injury ahead of their trip to Cologne but, having led at half time through Brandt’s strike, will have been disappointed to come away empty-handed, especially as defeat allowed Bayern to move back ahead of them in the league table prior to Der Klassiker.
Still, had Terzic been offered sitting level on points with the Bavarians at this stage of the season – as well as gaining six points from a possible nine to open up a five-point gap in second place in Group G – then the 39-year-old may well have taken it.
Given their forthcoming opponents’ relative lack of form in recent times, he may well feel that it is time for Dortmund to deliver in front of a raucous Westfalenstadion and prove that they have what it takes to stay the course in the title race this campaign.
Bayern returned to winning ways in the Bundesliga last Friday night with a 4-0 thumping over hapless Bayer Leverkusen, with Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Sadio Mane and Thomas Muller each scoring to demonstrate the Bavarians’ enviable firepower.
Julian Nagelsmann‘s side backed this up with a 5-0 win over Czech Republic side Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday night, preserving their 100% record in the Champions League so far this season and moving six points clear of third-placed Barcelona in Group C in the process.
However, Bayern’s trip to Dortmund on Saturday may well be their toughest test of the season so far, potentially providing a more accurate measure of whether they have put their remarkable run of four winless league games prior to the international break behind them.
With two of their most experienced leaders in Muller and Joshua Kimmich unavailable after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, it will also push their squad depth to the limit, especially in central midfield, where they are short of numbers compared to most of Europe’s elite teams.
Still, with the likes of Sane and Mane in excellent goalscoring form of late, there is little doubt that Nagelsmann’s side have the capabilities to demolish any opponent on their day, and they may well view Der Klassiker as the perfect match to get their season truly get back on track.
However, both are likely to be available given the magnitude of Saturday’s clash, with Hummels set to return to the heart of the defence in place of Niklas Sule, who may miss out on the chance to get one over on his former side following his summer move from Munich to Dortmund.
Mateu Morey, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Mahmoud Dahoud and club captain Marco Reus all remain sidelined through injury, however, while Sebastien Haller is unavailable for the foreseeable future due to a testicular tumour.
Donyell Malen and Karem Adeyemi have both played twice in the past week following their injuries prior to the international break and look set to start in attack given their abilities in transition. Depending on which system Terzic opts for, they could be joined by Brandt in a striker-less system, with neither Anthony Modeste or Youssoufa Moukoko hugely impressing as a consistent focal point in recent times.
Bayern, meanwhile, have been rocked by Muller and Kimmich both testing positive for COVID-19, meaning that Marcel Sabitzer and Leon Goretzka may line up alongside each other in central midfield for the first time this season.
Mane shifted to the left flank in order to accommodate Serge Gnabry in a more central role in midweek, and Nagelsmann could utilise a similarly fluid system on Saturday, with Musiala operating between the lines.
Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Meunier, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Guerreiro; Bellingham, Can, Ozcan; Adeyemi, Brandt, Malen
Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, De Ligt, Davies; Sabitzer, Goretzka; Sane, Musiala, Mane; Gnabry