James Rodriguez is just one of the star turns set to light up the Klassiker stage when Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
James Rodriguez is just one of the star turns set to light up the Klassiker stage when Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich ready to create more sweet Bundesliga Klassiker history

The ties that bind cracking Klassikers of the past and the footballing feast that awaits us on Matchday 11 are many. As is ever the case in this biannual Bundesliga carnival of brilliance, however, passion, commitment and explosive entertainment are always guaranteed when Borussia Dortmund meet Bayern Munich in one of the planet's stand-out sporting spectacles.

And what a time for these two European heavyweights to collide. With leaders Dortmund looking deadly under Swiss tactician Lucian Favre and Bayern battling back up to second and appearing doubly determined alongside coach Niko Kovac, the latest meeting of these big rivals could prove to be a pivotal point in this compelling campaign.

Watch: Study the Paco Alcacer way ...

Tremendous Paco Alcacer – he of the goal every 29 minutes – sensational assist assassin Jadon Sancho and the combo King Marco Reus [nine goals and seven assists in all comps in 2018/19] are just a few of Dortmund’s incredible Klassiker cast this week.

Bayern have their own crown jewel in James Rodriguez performing in a midfield of fellow stars while in striker Robert Lewandowski, a man more than familiar with both teams and who is beginning to hit form at an opportune time. Saturday’s Klassiker promises to match the momentous meetings of this fixture's illustrious past.

A burgeoning rivalry that began to draw worldwide attention a quarter of a century ago, Der Klassiker is a game that has yielded a myriad of magical moments produced by a plethora of world-renowned players. From Oliver Kahn and Andreas Möller to Lothar Matthäus and Die Schwarzgelben hero Karl-Heinz Riedle, the stories provided by a select cast have been endlessly talked over between fans of both sides in the intervening years.

Take the teams' incredible 1997 meeting in which tension and excitement flared form the off with both Bayern's Mario Basler and Dortmund's Möller booked in the opening minute! With supporters barely having time to draw their breath, the Klassiker rollercoaster took one more remarkable twist when Möller fed Riedle for the opening goal in the second minute.

"Who are you calling cry baby?" Möller (l.), Matthäus (r.) and THAT exchange back in 1997. - © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/

Incredibly, it was then 1-1 in minute number three, Bayern's Ruggiero Rizzitelli drawing the visitors level in a game that will forever be remembered for Matthäus mocking international teammate Möller with a 'cry-baby' gesture. The whirlwind whipped up during this clash set the tone for the games to come. 

Just two years later and Bayern's King Kahn - who appeared in a record 27 Klassikers, winning 13 - caused plenty of controversy with a kung-fu kick aimed at Borussia's Stephane Chapuisat. As if that weren't enough, the Germany legend's adrenaline took on more vampire-like venom when he made an attempt to bite Heiko Herrlich. Incredibly, the colossal shot-stopper evaded in-game punishment in the form of a booking for either incident!

Then there was the one where towering Czech striker Jan Koller donned Jens Lehmann's goalkeeping gloves after the custodian was ordered off with Dortmund having already fielded their three substitutes. Koller kept a clean sheet during the remaining 25 minutes of the game, but Dortmund nevertheless slipped to a 2-1 defeat.

Watch: Jan Koller's goalkeeping masterclass!

We've been treated to tremendous goals and tales of bravado and bravery too over the years, but pity the fan whose side has taken the proverbial Klassiker pasting, and there have been more than one of those. Just last April, A Bayern team that had earlier trailed their rivals in the standings, toyed with a beleaguered Yellow-Black outfit who were 5-0 down at the break and being well and truly buried by a James Rodriguez recital. It would finish 6-0, with the champions elect picking up their biggest win in the fixture since 1971.

Dortmund had their own Klassiker cruise back in February 2011, the visitors to the Allianz Arena that day running amok down south with their youngest ever Bundesliga line-up and led by charismatic coach Jürgen Klopp. Lucas Barrios, Nuri Sahin and current Bayern hero Mats Hummels were on target for a BVB team in full bloom and heading for the title after this 3-1 win. 

Momentum would tilt toward red once again in 2015, Bayern this time pulverising their opponents to the tune of 5-1, with visiting tactician Thomas Tuchel suffering his first reverse at the Dortmund helm. The Bundesliga's very own quarterback, Jerome Boateng, weighed in with two superbly delivered passes from deep that day while Lewandowski was also on target against his former employers.   

Speaking of the prolific Pole, the Klassiker icon has proved an astounding success for both sides however, interestingly, the 30-year-old only scored one Bundesliga goal in the colours of BVB against Bayern. It proved to be a vital one as it not only gave Borussia a 1-0 victory in April 2012, but opened a six-point margin between the sides at the top of the standings. The match will also be remembered as one in which Arjen Robben missed his first penalty in the German top flight. 

Watch: Classic Klassiker out-takes!

For sheer action-packed goal-mouth excitement and sensational saves, we need only gaze back as far as the 2013/14 season when goalkeepers Manuel Neuer and Roman Weidenfeller were in phenomenal form. Between them in November's Klassiker that season, the shot-stoppers blocked an incredible 15 shots on target, with Weidenfeller managing a season-best 12 in a single game. The encounter ended 2-1 to hosts Bayern, with that man Lewandowski netting for the first time in the Bundesliga against his former team.

So, will Warsaw’s famous son set pulses racing in Saturday’s latest game between two of the division’s most successful sides? Or will Borussia Dortmund maintain their sensational start to 2018/19? Stay with us on bundesliga.com and across our social media channels as we count down to the big one!

Click here for the Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich Match Centre!