Cologne - Thrills, spills and 90-plus minutes of world-class entertainment are guaranteed when Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern München host second-placed Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 17:30 CEST/ 15:30 GMT).
1) History in the making
Until then, bundesliga.com has all the pre-match essentials on the game everyone is talking about…
While Dortmund’s 100 per cent start to the season was brought to an end against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Matchday 6, there appears to be no stopping Bayern. No Bundesliga team has ever won their first eight matches of the season, but the defending champions will become the first to do exactly that with another victory at the Allianz Arena this weekend.
2) Tuchel’s magic touch
Despite dropping points in their last three matches, Dortmund remain unbeaten in 14 outings in all competitions under Tuchel. The 42-year-old has brought added discipline and determination to the BVB dressing room, and Dortmund fans will be delighted to learn that he got the better of Bayern on no less than three occasions while in charge of 1. FSV Mainz 05.
If Tuchel is to make it four, he will have to find a way to shackle Robert Lewandowski, whose goal-scoring exploits are fast becoming the stuff of legend. In the last week alone, the Bayern goal machine has netted five against VfL Wolfsburg, two in Mainz and a hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League win over GNK Dinamo Zagreb. Don’t tell BVB, but he’s also been on target in each of his last three outings against his former club.
4) Auba the man
Trailing Lewandowski by one at the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts, BVB’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likewise in the form of his life. The Gabon international has found the net at least once in all seven of Dortmund's Bundesliga games in 2015/16 - a Bundesliga best-mark - and already has nine goals to his name this term.
5) No favourites
Bayern are bidding to become the first side in history to win four successive Bundesliga titles, but even in recent seasons, they have rarely had things entirely their own way in Der Klassiker. BVB knocked Pep Guardiola’s side out of the 2014/15 DFB Cup on penalties and until last season were unbeaten in four Bundesliga matches at the Allianz Arena. Bayern are nevertheless chasing their third Bundesliga win on the bounce against BVB.