Matthäus picks Bayern Munich as favourite for the Der Klassiker 

Jurgen Klinsmann believes the 13-point gap between the arch-rivals will not be a factor as Dortmund still has lot to play for this season.

Both Lewandowski and Sane, were on target for Bayern, the last time the sides met in November.   -  GETTY IMAGES


Former Bayern Munich star and 1990 World Cup winner Lothar Matthäus has picked the defending Bundesliga champion as the favourite to win Saturday’s Der Klassiker, but feels the presence of Erling Haaland will be a big boost to Borussia Dortmund in what he described as a generational clash at the Allianz Arena.

“Dortmund was missing someone like Haaland who plays with passion. Now that he is here, the sun is shining on Dortmund,” Matthäus said in a media interaction on Thursday. “But Lewandowski plays in the better team, so I expect him to score more. He is not a static player and moves around a lot. So, the Dortmund defenders need to work very hard to stop him,” he added, highlighting the mouthwatering prospect of a clash in front of goal between Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski, the Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2020, and the 20-year-old Dortmund striker.

When asked about Bayern’s defensive loopholes this season and the chances of Dortmund’s pacey front line exploiting it, Matthäus said he does not expect Bayern manager Hansi Flick to tinker with his side’s high pressing and direct approach to the game to counter Dortmund.

Champions League prospects

Former Bayern player and manager Jürgen Klinsmann feels Dortmund, which is 13 points behind table-topper Bayern in fifth place, has a lot to play for. “They won’t be thinking of Bayern. Dortmund is in fifth place now and they need to finish inside the top four to get Champions League football. Even though the title challenge is over, Dortmund should go to Munich thinking of three points because Champions League football is very important.”

Klinsmann feels Bayern has been a role model of consistency over the last years, and its players and staff know what it takes to win titles. “The club operates on a philosophy of constantly striving for success. This cultural drive has made Bayern Munich succeed in Germany and Europe. If you look at Dortmund, they have had their ups and downs. They have to constantly deal with their best players leaving for other clubs. So, the way these two clubs function is different,” he said.

Dortmund currently trails Eintracht Frankfurt by three points in the battle for the fourth Champions League spot, while Bayern has a two-point lead over RB Leipzig.