bundesliga

Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund: 2020 Supercup key battles

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund meet for the first time this season in the 2020 Supercup on 30 September. bundesliga.com looks at the key head-to-heads between the quadruple winners and 2019/20 top-flight runners-up...

Robert Lewandowski vs Mats Hummels

What better a place to start than at the business end, and that implies where the goals will be scored – or where they will be prevented. There is nobody in the game currently better than Lewandowski at the former, and perhaps few more supreme at the latter than Hummels, but let's dig a little deeper.

Watch: Robert Lewandowski is leading Bayern's title charge once again in 2020/21

Only the great Gerd Müller has scored more in a single Bundesliga season than Lewandowski did last term. With 34 goals, the Pole snatched his fifth Torjägerkanone - his third in a row - while he had more than a say in Bayern becoming the first club ever to win every single game en route to lifting the UEFA Champions League. The 32-year-old had a competition-leading 15 goals in ten continental kickabouts, and also steered in six goals in the other component of Bayern's second treble, including two in the DFB Cup showpiece against Bayer Leverkusen. Think of a goalscoring record in Germany, and you'd stand a good chance of being right by naming Lewandowski as its author.

Hummels knows all about Lewandowski's predatory skills, having trained and played alongside him for four years at Dortmund and a further three at Bayern. There is no defender who knows better than Hummels how Lewandowski thinks, and this stands the 31-year-old in good stead to stop him. Only a handful of players could match the German defender for both tackles and interceptions per game last season in over 30 appearances, and he was one of the leading defenders in the Bundesliga for clearances. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Let's see on Wednesday night.

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski had Mats Hummels (r.) & Co. chasing shadows last season. - DFL

Joshua Kimmich vs Jude Bellingham

Before Joshua Kimmich chipped Roman Bürki to earn Bayern the last Klassiker honours in May, it had already become perfectly clear that Bayern had one of the world's most talented young footballers among their armoury. While the discussion rages on about whether Kimmich is the best full-back or defensive midfielder on the planet, the 25-year-old continues to prove that he can do pretty much anything that is asked of him in both a defensive and creative capacity. With two assists in the season-opening 8-0 win over Schalke, and a stunning strike in the 4-1 defeat to Hoffenheim, it already looks like 2020/21 could be another record-breaking season for the Germany international.

Watch: Joshua Kimmich effectively decided the 2019/20 title in Dortmund

Kimmich has yet to be tested, however, by Dortmund's new sensation Bellingham. With a goal on his debut for the Black and Yellows in the DFB Cup, the English teen has already etched his name in the club's history books as their youngest goalscorer in a competitive fixture. On his Bundesliga debut a week later, Bellingham became the youngest player in Bundesliga history (since such data collection started in 2004) to provide an assist, at 17 years and 82 days.

While those may only be two records, the speed with which he has broken them suggests more are on their way. And given his penchant for celebrating debuts in style, the former Birmingham midfielder will be relishing an opportunity to impress in his first Klassiker.

Watch: Jude Bellingham and Dortmund's teenaged dreamers

Erling Haaland vs Manuel Neuer

It took Erling Haaland just 23 minutes to score his first three Bundesliga goals, courtesy of a hat-trick on his debut against Augsburg. Even Lewandowski would be envious of such a start to life in the Bundesliga, and Haaland was only 19 years old when his broad shoulders arrived on the scene. He added two more a few days later, becoming the first player in Bundesliga history to score five in his first two games. The Leeds-born forward then ended his first half-season in German football with 13 goals in 15 Bundesliga games, and came second only to Lewandowski in the Champions League scoring charts with 10 goals in his debut campaign in European football's elite club competition.

One-season wonder? Think again! The Norwegian is already up and running in 2020/21 with two goals on the opening day of the season, and you can sense there are many, many more to come.

Watch: All of Erling Haaland's Bundesliga goals so far

If anybody can stop him, Neuer can. One of three nominees for UEFA's Men's Player of the Year, alongside team-mate Lewandowski, the first goalkeeper to win two trebles is showing no signs of losing his powers. Even though he is now 34, there are signs that the world's greatest shot-stopper is getting better and better.

Neuer's 15 clean sheets in 33 Bundesliga outings last season confirm as much, and it is going to take something magical for Haaland - or anybody in a black and yellow shirt, for that matter - to steer the ball past him. This is, after all, a man who has "taken goalkeeping to new heights," in the words of Paris Saint-Germain's former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, who saw that close up in last season's Champions League final.

Manuel Neuer underlined his status as the world‘s best-ever goalkeeper in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League final. - MANU FERNANDEZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Serge Gnabry vs Emre Can

Leroy Sane was quick to pour cold water on claims he and Serge Gnabry were emulating Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben's famous 'Robbery' partnership by saying the wingers should not be judged on their performances in the 8-0 win over Schalke on Matchday 1. The Germany international was not fooling anybody, though. Sane set up two of Gnabry's three goals against the Royal Blues, and put the proverbial cherry on top of his debut by getting on the scoresheet too. The 24-year-old must sit out the Supercup with a knee injury, however, meaning more responsibility will be placed on Gnabry's shoulders. Champions League final hero Kingsley Coman should replace the former Schalke star, meaning Bayern's wide men would be the pair who started against PSG and in both league wins over Dortmund last season.

Watch: Leroy Sane has hit it off with Serge Gnabry at Bayern

Emre Can's experience and awareness will be needed to keep Gnabry and his partner in crime quiet. The former Bayern, Bayer Leverkusen, Liverpool and Juventus utility man has provided some much-needed stability to Dortmund's defensive play, which has proven crucial given the heavy accent the Westphalians place on attacking. Can's ability to read the game and anticipate where danger may arrive from could be vital to shutting down both Gnabry and Coman.

Marco Reus vs Alphonso Davies

Speaking of threatening outlets, Dortmund's most effective in that category is arguably Sancho. With 17 goals and 16 assists, the Englishman had a hand in close to half of the BVB's Bundesliga goals last season, leaving Dortmund's opponents with a dilemma: focus on stopping Sancho from scoring, or preventing him from setting up goals. Bayern won't have to contend with that problem in the Supercup, though, since Dortmund announced on Tuesday that Sancho would miss the game due to illness.

Hansi Flick's hosts could have similar issues, however, when it comes to curbing the influence of Dortmund skipper Marco Reus. The Germany international has been easing his way back to full fitness with three substitute appearnces so far, and netted in the DFB Cup win at Duisburg. The 31-year-old has scored 10 goals against Bayern in his career - including two in three Supercup matches. After revealing last week that he has no regrets about choosing Dortmund over Bayern in 2012, the former Borussia Mönchengladbach attacker will be keen to chalk up another victory in Munich.

Dortmund captain Marco Reus (l.) could provide another stern test for Alphonso Davies (r.) and Bayern Munich. - Philippe Ruiz via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Philippe Ruiz

Alphonso Davies, though, will have other ideas. Bayern's roadrunner can beat any of his rivals for pace, and after dealing with one challenge, the sprightly Canadian is quickly onto the next. His first full season with Bayern concluded with him a treble winner and on a three-man shortlist - with teammates David Alaba and Kimmich - for UEFA's Defender of the Year prize.

The 2019/20 Bundesliga's Rookie of the Season fulfils that category on age grounds, but his performances belie his 19 years. He is maturing fast and - though he might not come up against Reus directly too often on Wednesday - it will be fascinating to see how he comes to terms with the Dortmund star's probing passes and clever movement.