Today, bundesliga.com hears some praise for Robert Lewandowski from an unlikely source, analyses the impressive German record at Wembley, and wonders what Thiago will make of his first Klassiker.
Usually in a build-up to a clash of title rivals, mind games are cranked up to fanatical levels. Borussia Dortmund striker would perhaps, then, have been surprised to hear praise coming in his direction from none other than FC Bayern München's honorary President Franz Beckenbauer ahead of Saturday's Klassiker. Der Kaiser told Sportbild that: "Perhaps Lewandowski is a touch stronger and more mobile than [current Bayern striker] Mario Mandzukic." High praise indeed. And with the coaches' pre-match press conferences yet to come, the war of words is just beginning.
Germany certainly have the wood over England in international meetings, be it at FIFA World Cups, European Championships or friendly encounters. What's even more galling for the Three Lions is that Germany's have the cheek to keep winning on English soil. made it 38 years since a German side last suffered defeat at Wembley - in the six games since that last loss in 1975, the DFB select have knocked the old enemy out of a European championship semi-final on penalties, won the final-ever game in the old stadium in 2002 World Cup qualifying and prevailed in four friendlies. England coach Roy Hodgson said that "85,000 people went home disappointed". Perhaps, when Germany come calling, they should come to expect that.
There weren't many players at FC Bayern's Wednesday morning training session, owing of course, to international duty. One man who was there, however, continuing his injury rehabilitation, was Thiago Alcantara.The Spaniard has been progressing so well since his appearance on the bench against FC Augsburg on Matchday 12, that the summer signing is understood to feature prominently in coach Pep Guardiola's thoughts for Saturday's Klassiker against Dortmund, especially now that has been ruled out until January. It is certainly a pleasant dilemma for the Catalan tactician to juggle. Thiago may have experienced Spain's clasico, but the Bundesliga's Klassiker will be a different experience altogether.
Thiago will be aiming to add his own piece of Klassiker history to this fascinating FC Bayern victory reel video, courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: