Bayern have tended to have the upper hand at home against rivals BVB of late. - © INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images
Bayern have tended to have the upper hand at home against rivals BVB of late. - © INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

5 reasons Bayern Munich can beat Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker


Having slipped off top spot before the international break, Bayern Munich have the chance to move back to the summit when they face title rivals Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker on Matchday 26. looks at five reasons why the reigning champions can do the business on Thomas Tuchel's Bayern debut…

1) Blistering attack

How do you keep out an attack with the potency of Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry and many more besides? The answer is, you usually don't: Bayern have only failed to score once in 37 competitive games all season, in the 1-0 Matchday 7 defeat in Augsburg.

So to paraphrase Liam Neeson in Taken: "Dortmund, they are going to take you." And like Neeson, this Bayern team has its own very particular set of skills – namely finding the back of the net.

The defending champions have scored more Bundesliga goals than any other side this season (72), a whopping 17 more than the next best team, which is, incidentally, Dortmund on 55. They are also the only team with two players on double figures in 2022/23: Musiala (11) and Choupo-Moting (10). Goals win games, and Bayern do that better than anyone else.

Watch: Bayern's all-star attack 

2) New coach bounce

A feature of any top-flight season is the managerial merry-go-round as clubs attempt to rekindle a missing spark by bringing in a new coach. Results often improve in the immediate aftermath as players go the extra mile to impress the new man in the hotseat and nail down their places in the team.

And what better occasion to do that than in a title-deciding six-pointer against your biggest rivals? Tuchel, who replaced Julian Nagelsmann during the international break, is known to be an exacting, demanding boss.

So guess who didn't need a highly talented group of players running at them with that extra portion of motivation? Dortmund, that's who.

3) Defence wins championships

Or so received wisdom goes. Whether it is true or not is open to debate but Bayern have been adhering to it anyway, adopting a belt-and-braces approach in their pursuit of an 11th consecutive Meisterschale: in addition to scoring more than anyone else, they concede fewer than everyone else too (27).

Two uncharacteristic defensive slips may have been their downfall in the Matchday 25 loss against Bayer Leverkusen, but Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt and Alphonso Davies remain a formidable back four, shielded by the ever-tenacious Joshua Kimmich. This, remember, is a side that has only conceded two goals in eight UEFA Champions League assignments in 2022/23.

Moreover, Bayern have won more duels (2816), had more possession (60 percent) and completed passes from open play (88.4 percent) than any other team in the Bundesliga this term: in short, even if you get the ball off them, they're going to win it back sooner rather than later

Watch: Alphonso Davies - top 5 moments 

4) Home fortress

Alongside Union Berlin, Bayern are one of just two teams still unbeaten on home turf this season. Indeed, that undefeated run stretches back 20 Bundesliga home games to January 2022, when the Reds were last outwitted on their own patch in a 2-1 loss.

That record is even more impressive when it comes to facing Dortmund. Bayern have won each of the last eight Bundesliga Klassikers at the Allianz Arena, doing so by a combined scoreline of 33-6. In six of those games they scored at least four times.

Home advantage, then, is a very real concept and there seems to be something in the Munich air that makes Dortmund knees wobble.

Watch: the jaw-dropping Allianz Arena 

5) Pressure-cooker experience

As if all of the above were not enough, Bayern have the edge in terms of know-how and handling the big occasion. The 31-time Bundesliga champions have not lost a single one of the eight match-ups when the two German giants have been first and second in the league standings (W7, D1).

Only three players in Dortmund's squad have won the Bundesliga title: Mats Hummels (five times), Niklas Süle (five) and Emre Can (once). Of that trio, Hummels is the only one to have done so at a club other than Bayern, having lifted the 2011 and 2012 editions with BVB.

Watch: Der Klassiker - time to get real 

Bayern's squad, meanwhile, is stacked with players who know what it takes to win silverware. Musiala, for example, is among the greenest and least decorated, but even he has been part of three championship-winning squads. Knowing what it takes to get you over the line is crucial in tense games like Der Klassiker – and there's no substitute for experience.