Jadon Sancho (l.) and Thomas Müller (r.) - two key players in Der Klassiker according to Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS. - © DFL
Jadon Sancho (l.) and Thomas Müller (r.) - two key players in Der Klassiker according to Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS. - © DFL

Bundesliga Match Facts Analysis: Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund compared ahead of Der Klassiker


The crown jewel of German football, Der Klassiker, gets underway on Saturday when Bayern Munich welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Allianz Arena. Using Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS, we take a look at where the advantages might lie…

>> Purchase Bayern and Dortmund assets in Fantasy Manager!

Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS helps scouts and fans alike get a closer look at the action, with parameters such as xGoals, Attacking Zones and Most Pressed Players.

Watch: Lewandowski under the tactical microscope

xGoals: Bayern and Lewandowski score too many goals…

Bayern, for example, have scored many more goals than they should have this season, and that's not simply the opinion of their opponents! The Expected Goals model - the probability every shot has of beating the goalkeeper - proves it. Bayern have already scored 67 Bundesliga goals this season, but according to their xGoals value they should have only scored 47.5 - an overperformance of 19.5.

Second by this measure are Bayer Leverkusen, who have a positive difference of nine. Third-best Wolfsburg have scored four more goals than their xG might suggest. Bayern's opponents on Saturday, Dortmund, meanwhile, are only 10th league-wide in this particular classification, with an overperformance of 1.3. Hansi Flick's team are nothing if not extremely efficient.

>> Click here for the Bayern-Dortmund team news!

The same is, perhaps unsurprisingly, true for 2020 Best FIFA Men's Player Robert Lewandowski, who is on course for his fourth consecutive Torjägerkanone and could even break the great Gerd Müller's record of 40 goals in a single season if he keeps scoring at the same rate. The 32-year-old Poland captain has already scored 28 league goals despite his xG being just 17.5.

His overperformance of 10.5 is a league best, with Bayern teammate Thomas Müller following him with a value of 4.8. Dortmund's hitman Erling Haaland may be the division's third-top scorer this season with 17 goals, but on this particular list he is down in sixth, with 3.7 more goals the xG would suggest.

Watch: Haaland and Sancho, a handful for any defence

Dortmund dependent on Most Pressed Player Sancho

Whilst Lewandowski is clearly the key player for Bayern, his opposite number Haaland is not necessarily the undisputed main man for Dortmund, the Norwegian sharing the limelight with England winger Jadon Sancho. The 20-year-old England winger is crucial to the Schwerzgelben attack, albeit in a very different way to the strikers discussed above. Sancho provides the creative element of Dortmund's attacks. In 16 of his 21 league games this season he has been the Most Pressed Player - the player who is most pressured when in possession - for his side.

Sancho knows how to deal with pressured situations and also how to create dangerous attacks as a result. The only downside of Haaland and Sancho being so dominant is that opponents can second-guess the team's tactics more easily. In the 3-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld last Saturday, BVB realised this and changed personnel and their final third operators' positions later in the game.

>> Play the Official Bundesliga Predictor here!

Bayern, on the other hand, are significantly more varied in the attacking third. Müller and Joshua Kimmich have been their most pressed player six times each, but Alphonso Davies, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane boast the three highest values per Duel - i.e. beating their markers prolifically.

Watch: Der Klassiker, a global affair

Attack Zones: both strong on the wings

In terms of Attacking Zones, i.e. the area of entry into the final third, the record champions and their great rivals can hardly be separated. They both start 38 percent of their attacking actions on the left wing, as well as 15 percent from the inside right position. Bayern initiate 35 percent of their attacks on the right wing, which is just one percent more than Dortmund have done under interim coach Edin Terzic. In the inside left position, BVB outdo Bayern by one percent, meanwhile.

Bayern could be surprised if Dortmund prove more variable in this area. When Eintracht Frankfurt beat Bayern 2-1 two Saturdays ago, it was mainly due to their creative use of the attacking zones. Adi Hütter's men dominated, but uncharacteristically for a team who boast one of the league's best wingers in Filip Kostic, they also broke into the final third from the inside positions 52 percent of the time, with the right flank accounting for the other 26 percent. If Dortmund can mount attacks through the middle, perhaps Bayern can be caught off-guard.

Watch: Highlights of Frankfurt's recent win over Bayern

Maybe then, Dortmund can prevail. The Black and Yellow fan favourites last won Der Klassiker in the 2019 Supercup. Bayern have taken the spoils rather consistently since, winning their last five meetings.

Bayern may score too many goals, as well as being the defending European and World champions, but Dortmund only need to score one more goal than their rivals to win, and if they're variable and creative in attack, perhaps they have a chance to do just that.