There are a great many reasons to watch Der Klassiker. Here are just five of them... - © DFL
There are a great many reasons to watch Der Klassiker. Here are just five of them... - © DFL

5 reasons to watch Der Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund


It's Bayern Munich. Against Borussia Dortmund. In Der Klassiker. As if that were not reason enough to tune in on Matchday 27, allow to hammer home just why you should...

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1) A classic rivalry

At the start of the campaign, these two famous rivals were tipped for yet another title-battle, especially after last season's epic which resulted in one of the most dramatic conclusions to a title race in Bundesliga history.

On the final day of last season, Dortmund had a first Bundesliga title since 2011/12 in their hands. With a two-point lead over Bayern, all they had to do to be sure of sealing the deal was win at home to Mainz. Anything else, and they'd be relying on Cologne to do them a favour against Bayern. Easier said than done.

BVB fell two goals behind at the Signal Iduna Park, whilst Bayern took the lead in Cologne. The record champions were pegged back, before Jamal Musiala scored a decisive 89th-minute winner. The Black-Yellows did level at 2-2 against Mainz, but it was too little, too late. Bayern were crowned champions for a record-extending 11th season in a row.

Watch: Decision day in the 2022/23 title race - relived

Instead, both Bayern and Dortmund have been blindsided by a rampant Bayer Leverkusen who are currently on course to make history. Their 10-point lead at the top leaves Bayern in chase mode and a win over Dortmund would give them the kind of impetus required if they're to haul in the current league-leaders. And they seem in the mood after scoring 13 times in just their last two top-flight outings.

While Dortmund will be disappointed not to have built on last term's efforts, they have been excellent since the turn of the year. They've lost just once in 2024, winning eight out of 12 and each of their last three in all competitions. It means Dortmund are now motoring to a place in next season's UEFA Champions League and putting a further dent in Bayern's title hopes would taste sweet, even if they're not the ones to end their rivals' long-standing grip on the title.

2) Another Harry Kane Klassiker?

When Harry Kane made the move to Munich last summer he made it clear that winning the first trophies of his career were at the forefront of his mind. "Bayern is one of the biggest clubs in the world, and I’ve always said that I want to compete and prove myself at the highest level during my career," he said after signing. "This club is defined by its winning mentality - it feels very good to be here."

It was assumed by many outsiders that the medals would soon follow, given Kane's quality and Bayern's illustrious history. However, a debut in the Supercup - barely 24 hours after landing in Germany - ended in defeat before an early exit in the DFB Cup to third-tier Saarbrücken and the subsequent excellence of Leverkusen have flipped the script.

Watch: Harry Kane hits hat-trick in Klassiker debut

The England captain, though, has been remarkable since arriving at the Allianz Arena. His record-breaking start to the season has seen Kane score 31 times in 26 Bundesliga appearances and he is now barreling towards Robert Lewandowski's single-season record of 41.

Three of those came in his first Klassiker outing, his hat-trick making headlines around the world as Bayern romped to a 4-0 win just days after that DFB Cup upset. He also struck twice in the second-leg victory over Lazio that booked Bayern's spot in the Champions League quarter-finals to keep their hopes alive in the competition. Bayern's latest No.9 is certainly not giving up on glory in 2023/24 any time soon.

3) The supporting cast

Kane's arrival helped lift Leroy Sané's performances to another level in the early part of 2023/24, as he racked up eight goals and four assists by the time they beat Dortmund on Matchday 10. The goals have dried up since for the winger but eight Bundesliga goals and 11 assists represent the best return of his career in the German top-flight. Then there is the remarkable form of Jamal Musiala in recent weeks, the return to fitness of Serge Gnabry and, of course, Thomas Müller - the source of eight goals and nine assists in 26 Bundesliga Klassikers to date.

Dortmund's answer to all of this is a potent forward line that is currently on fire. Dutchman Donyell Malen has been leading the way so far, his 11 goals are a joint club-best alongside Niclas Füllkrug, who is growing into his role as Dortmund's focal point.

Then there is Jadon Sancho, fresh on the back of scoring in each of his last two outings and appearing to be finding his best form now that the England international is "back home". Throw in Julian Brandt, Marco Reus & Co. and there's plenty of reasons to be excited about Dortmund's chances.

Watch: Every Donyell Malen goal in 2023/24 so far

4) Teenaged trump cards

As those names go to show, the Klassiker is a showcase for football's finest. It was in the past, it is now and will continue to be in the future. The legendary Müller scored a superb brace on his debut in the fixture back in 2009, while Dortmund teen Youssoufa Moukoko's goal set the comeback wheels in motion last season. Like Müller, the 19-year-old hasn't been as influential so far this term - but that doesn't mean he can't be BVB's hero from the bench.

The same theory applies to Bayern's Mathys Tel. The 18-year-old continues to be largely used as a substitute but has an output of a goal every 106 minutes in the Bundesliga. As well as five league goals, the Frenchman has also found the net twice in the Champions League, as well as once in the DFB Cup opening round. If it is a common tactic to save your trump card for last, Tel might prove to be the ace up Bayern's sleeve in Der Klassiker.

5) Goals galore

Goals are pretty much guaranteed when Bayern and Dortmund come together. After Bayern's victory in November, a whopping 356 goals have been scored in this fixture, ahead of what will be the 110th rendition of the Bundesliga era: 133 for Dortmund and 223 for Bayern. That equates to an average of 3.23 goals per game.

There have only ever been five goalless draws when these teams have met in a top-flight encounter, and only two of those since the turn of the century. And in terms of the form books, Dortmund are averaging two goals per game this Bundesliga season while Bayern are division-leading scorers with a whopping 78, an average of three goals per 90 minutes so far.

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