Ahead of the first Bundesliga Klassiker of the season, bundesliga.com is giving you the chance to vote for your Bayern Munich-Borussia Dortmund dream team. All 11 positions are up for grabs, and it's your votes that will determine the final combined Bayern-Dortmund XI, which we will present to you ahead of Saturday's big match. Here are the four candidates for the attacking midfield position: Mario Götze, Shinji Kagawa, James Rodriguez and Thiago. Cast your votes in the poll below!
Vote for your combined XI below!
His goal which clinched the World Cup for Germany in 2014 catapulted his name onto everybody's lips – if it had not been there already. Mario Götze had forged a reputation for being a tricky, skilful talent as some of the brains behind Borussia Dortmund's back-to-back Bundesliga titles, before Bayern – with him then wearing their colours – took a firm grip of matters in Germany. While injuries have tried to knock him off course, the 25-year-old is finding ways to show once again why he was likened to Lionel Messi.
Watch: Mario Götze back in business
The diminutive Japanese midfielder earned his place in Borussia Dortmund folklore by inspiring them to the title in his first season in Germany. His energy and vitality was imbued into all those around him and, as support to Robert Lewandowski, he scored eight goals in a 15-game unbeaten run at the start of the season, laying the foundations for glory. After a spell in the Premier League, Kagawa returned 'home', where he is thriving on the comforts of his habitat and finding those gaps he used to exploit so well, creating openings which are helping Dortmund continue to score with an extraordinary regularity.
Having gone into double figures in five of the past six seasons, James was the attacking midfielder Bayern were looking for to beef up an already prolific attacking department. His outstanding dribbling qualities – achieved all the while keeping one eye on the movement of his team-mates and providing that killer pass – combined with a fierce left foot make him the ideal player to cut in from the wing and spread danger. He is equally at home just behind the main striker, though, and this flexibility has added another string to Bayern's bow.
When Pep Guardiola took charge of Bayern Munich back in 2013, he had just one request: sign Thiago Alcantara. He had spotted him during his own days as Barcelona coach, and when he led Spain's under-21s as captain and playmaker at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 2013, he was drooling at the mouth. Thiago stood out in a team brimming with talent, and while injuries may have blighted his time at Bayern, when he has been fit, he has made the difference. His slight frame and size help him skip past opponents as if they were not there, while he has the uncanny ability of spotting the killer pass that not only others would not see – they would not even imagine. He is widely regarded as one of the best in the business, and with 25 trophies already in the closet, it's hard to disagree.
Watch: The best of Bayern's Thiago